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

Conservationists stunned by the insects’ rapid recovery

The Hacker: Extending the olive branch in Mallorca did not help my mood

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, the only thing worse than playing bad golf is not playing bad golf. And by that I don't mean playing good golf – don't be silly – I mean not playing at all. There can be few forms of organised ritual humiliation that invoke withdrawal symptoms but this game is one, even at the time of year when huddling in the warm rearranging one's collection of ball-markers might seem the more sensible option.

American Football: The whole nine yards: The NFL comes to Wembley

The NFL comes to Wembley tomorrow to put on a show the American way. Stan Hey reports on how the other football is winning over the 51st State

On the hunt for our missing butterflies

Kieran Falconer joins a Hampshire conservation group trying to reverse crucial habitat damage

Pennywort and a pint of best, anyone? The Foragers pub serves the taste of the Sussex countryside on a plate

The Foragers, 3 Stirling Place, Hove, East Sussex, tel: 01273 733 134

Yours for £5m: English garden (plus wallabies)

With more than 200 acres of some of England's finest gardens, seven lakes, a historic rhododendron and a mob of 40 "semi-wild" wallabies, Leonardslee Gardens in Sussex are perhaps as eccentric as the family which has owned them for more than 150 years.

Future of Great Dixter secured by £4m grant

The future of Great Dixter, the medieval estate which has come to epitomise the English country garden, is to be guaranteed by a multimillion-pound lottery award aimed at conserving one of the country's most remarkable displays of flowers and plants.

Britain's most common wild flowers are latest species to disappear from countryside

Even the commonest wild flowers are disappearing from the countryside, a new analysis of Britain's biggest wild plant survey has shown.

The Roadkill Chef: First, catch your squirrel

Fergus Drennan is a professional forager best known for his BBC programme, The Roadkill Chef. From April, he plans to live entirely on wild food for a whole year

White gold: Britain's new love for snowdrops

Britain is in the grip of a strange passion: snowdropmania. The countryside is aglow with brilliant displays of these delicate flowers. Yet enthusiasts, who recognise hundreds of different varieties, are paying record prices to secure their own miraculous bulbs. Michael McCarthy reports

Peter Marren: Savour the spring and its small mercies in troubled times

Glorious weather, flowers galore: they're almost enough to warm a mother's heart

Letter: Ditch the brown belt

Sir: It is refreshing to see that Tony Blair's Performance and Innovation Unit is proposing that the green belt should be relaxed and farmland freed for development (report, 11 December).

'Independent on Sunday' campaign: A spectacular coast, behind barbed wire

Notices warn of unexploded shells, yet sheep and cows graze beyond. Must humans really be kept out? asks Hester Lacey
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On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
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Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

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Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
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Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

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A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
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Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
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Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

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Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

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Actor and director Zach Braff
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Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
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A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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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

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
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Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
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Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
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Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
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The Imitation Game, film review
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Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
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Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
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Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week