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

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.

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.

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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Philippe Legrain: 'The eurozone crisis has tipped many into disillusionment, despair and extremism - we need a European Spring'

Philippe Legrain: 'We need a European Spring'

The eurozone crisis has tipped many into disillusionment, despair and extremism - this radically altered landscape calls for a new kind of politics, argues the economist
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Judith Owen: 'How my husband helped my music flourish'

Her mother's suicide and father's cancer also informed the singer-songwriter's new album, says Pierre Perrone
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Online lifeline: Housing association's educational initiative

South Yorkshire Housing Association's free training courses gave hope to tenant battling long-term illness and depression
Face-recognition software: Is this the end of anonymity for all of us?

Face-recognition software: The end of anonymity?

The software is already used for military surveillance, by police to identify suspects - and on Facebook
Train Kick Selfie Guy is set to scoop up to $250,000 thanks to his viral video - so how can you cash in on your candid moments?

Viral videos: Cashing in on candid moments

Train Kick Selfie Guy Jared Frank could receive anything between $30,000 to $250,000 for his misfortune - and that's just his cut of advertising revenue from being viewed on YouTube
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World's fastest elevators coming soon to China

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Cityfathers tackles long-hours culture that causes men to miss out on seeing their children

Cityfathers tackles long-hours culture

The organisation is the brainchild of Louisa Symington-Mills, a chief operating officer who set up Citymothers in 2012 - a group that now boasts more than 3,000 members
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Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

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Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
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How can you tell a gentleman?

A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
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Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

The duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable