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

WILDERNESS TIPS

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

NICHOLAS SCHOON

`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

NICHOLAS SCHOON

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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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
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First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

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Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
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Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
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Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

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Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

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The Open 2014

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