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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent