Andrew Martin: I'd let the French run our trains

Their approach to railways is at once hard-headed and romantic
According to a new book, increasing numbers of rivers in towns and cities in Britain are now so clean that anglers are fly-fishing in them for trout and grayling, which are specialised clean-water species

Look what’s struggling to swim the Thames now… trout

Previously filthy watercourses are now teeming with fish, a new book reveals

Bear Grylls

Life on the breadline, by Bear Grylls

I'm in London, I've left my job with the Discovery Channel in the US, and the houseboat fridge is dangerously low on supplies.

Compulsive, obsessive, repetitive

Artists have been driven to make painstaking sculptures out of sugar cubes, fish scales and other unusual materials for a new exhibition at Towner contemporary

Around the world in 80 dishes No. 47: Hot smoked trout salad

Ingredients to serve 4

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: Glory in the splendour that is the month of May

Writing about the natural world is of necessity seasonal. Social Studies, say, or Economic Studies need make no reference to the time of year, but when your theme is Nature you can scarcely avoid it. And having now written 51 weekly examples of Nature Studies, beginning in late April last year with reflections on the blackthorn, and moving on through harebells in high summer, sweet chestnuts in autumn and alpine birds in mid-winter, I find myself back where I began, blossom-surrounded and birdsong-showered – knocking on the door of May.

How I Ended This Summer (12A)

Starring: Grigory Dobrygin, Sergei Puskepalis, Igor Chernevich

£100 million cash boost for English waterways

More than £100 million is being provided to help improve England's rivers for wildlife such as otters and trout, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said today.

Victoria Summerley: We must educate the public not to use a river as a dump

My local river is the Wandle. It gives its name to Wandsworth, where I live, and anyone who has ever been through south-west London has probably crossed it without knowing, because there are long underground stretches. But whereas many Thames tributaries live secret, subterranean lives, the Wandle frequently bursts forth - through the parklands of Beddington and Morden Hall, for example.

A feast in Moscow: Mark Hix used local ingredients to cook up a banquet on a recent trip to Russia

A couple of weeks ago, my head chef, Kevin Gratton, accompanied me on a trip to Moscow to cook for three nights at the Soho Rooms, a relatively new club with a restaurant where Laura Bridge, an old friend of mine, does all the cooking.

Fillet of trout with split peas and clams

Serves 4

Pollution leaves murky waters at Paxman's favourite fishing spot

Sewage treatment plant suspected as Hampshire river fished by the famous loses its crystal-clear waters

Smoking food: Smouldering passion

Since taking up smoking, Christopher Hirst has found that not just salmon and mackerel but oysters, chicken and even eggs can be given a delicious new dimension

Sea trout return to cleaner rivers

The numbers of sea trout and salmon found in some English rivers have hit record highs this year, thanks to efforts to clean up polluted waterways.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone