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

Conservationists stunned by the insects’ rapid recovery

Future now: Landscape design has reached new frontiers

Here's something to relieve the tedium of the M25: see if you can spot a 26ft-high terracotta pot near junction 2(12A). The pot, together with an equally large hand fork, is a new landmark to fanfare Butterfly World near St Albans, Hertfordshire. It is currently in Phase I of its £27m development, but already open to visitors. The giant props will eventually be dwarfed by a large, glass dome that will house an incredible 10,000 butterflies and become the biggest butterfly walk-through exhibition in the world. Until then, the landscape and gardens in the 27-acre site will provide the main attraction, as they re-establish wildlife habitats that have suffered from development.

Michael McCarthy: Their majesty lies in their mystery

Nature Notebook

Bellamy backs 'butterfly world' plans

More habitat needs to be created for butterflies to stop the declines in some of the UK's most well-loved insects, conservationists urged today.

<i>IoS</i> letters, emails and online postings (26/07/2009)

In response to the debate about space travel (19 July), sooner or later the world will run out of resources. No matter how carefully you recycle or reuse materials, no matter how cleverly you seek new ways of living, we will use up energy supplies, minerals, and resources. Current green thinking will just delay the inevitable.

Michael McCarthy: Our wondrous flora has been left in the shade

Nature Notebook: We seem to have lost interest in plants per se at all levels

Travel Challenge: A summer mountain-walking holiday in Europe

Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a particular holiday. Today: a summer walking holiday in the mountains of Europe. Prices are for two people, departing for seven nights on 4 July.

French fancy: Anna Pavord discovers a 19th-century garden near the Dordogne where box rules supreme

My brother has a farm in the Causse de Gramat, the high, wild, rocky country just north of the glorious Cele valley, south of the less interesting Dordogne. He's spent his working life as a vet, a horse doctor, but has always had a good eye for making gardens. He has the necessary practical skills too, which is much rarer. He can repair and build dry stone walls. He knows how to shift vast rocks with the forklift on his Massey Ferguson tractor and how to use the scrub-basher to rid his pastures of the prickly, low-growing juniper that had grown there unchecked for decades, swamping everything under its dour, prickly advance.

Last chance to see chequered gems heading for extinction

Fritillaries are wonders of nature &ndash; can we find them before they disappear forever?

Grizzled skipper

Pyrgus malvae

Gotcha! How we found one of Britain's smallest, brightest butterflies

Our Great British Butterfly Hunt heads for the South Downs

Attenborough applauds our hunt for Britain's butterflies

Quest to find endangered treasures of natural world is praised by conservationists and politicians

Michael McCarthy: The first green shoots of optimism

Nature Notebook
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Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

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Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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