News Winging it: The shrill carder bee is thriving in Kent

Conservationists stunned by the insects’ rapid recovery

In search of a little hoe hoe hoe

Gardening books crammed full of designer photography are moving over for a more text-heavy breed, says Michael Leapman. These books, he claims, are ideal for stocking fillers for any enthusiast this Christmas

Commoners with nothing in common

One man's conservation is another's vandalism: Hamish Scott reports on a feud in Dorset

How the peaceful country lanes of old England have been placed on the certain road to destruction

As many as 5,000 country byways are being ruined by heavy traffic, according to a new report

Pop Albums: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers She's The One Warner Bros 9362-46285-2

Commissioned to write a song for the feature-film debut of Jennifer Aniston (least appealing of the babes from Friends), Tom Petty was apparently so inspired by the romantic comedy in question that he exceeded his brief and wrote the entire soundtrack.

In hot water at the Copper Kettle

THE ORCHARD ON FIRE by Shena Mackay, Heinemann pounds 12.99


A few miles away from Elmstead, Rosie Skeet has transformed an over- grown, neglected field into a garden with echoes of Beth Chatto's style; GARDENING IN THE LANDSCAPE

Rare bloom for host of daffodils

Long overdue restoration on an 18th-century estate has helped a rare species of daffodil to bloom again.

There are gardeners. And there are groundskeepers

If you prefer a strimmer to a seedling, and a lawnmower to a large lilac, can you really call yourself a gardener? By TCharles Elliott

Wild flower may blossom with farmers' help


`Green' schemes given pounds 46m

Virginia Bottomley, the Secretary of State for National Heritage, yesterday announced grants worth pounds 46m from the Millennium Commission to 10 environmental and community projects.

log on to the relaxation secrets of the ancients

A New Age anti-stress treatment links the inner quest for peace with the latest software. Sarah Lonsdale goes on a trip

Wildlife campaign targets top Tories


Defiant warrior who paid in blood

William Wallace, whose fearless spirit and hatred of the English made him one of the great nationalist heroes of the Middle Ages, was born in 1270 in Renfrewshire. After his father and elder brother were killed by English troops occupying Scotland, he took up arms against the southern "oppressor".

Call the next witness - a bird

Today it's natural history time, and a chance to get all your queries about the natural world cleared up by an expert. We couldn't get a natural history expert, unfortunately, but we did at least get an expert ... Yes, all your questions about wild life are being answered today by an experienced lawyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, which I think shows just how experienced a lawyer he is.

And up to where the rare lily lives

IT IS tiny, yellow and lovely, and perhaps Britain's most inaccessible wildflower. To pick it, you'd have to know where it was, and then you'd have to be a rock climber. Yet the rare Snowdon Lily is still threatened.
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor