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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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Lake Garda
Lake Como
Bruges
Paris
Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game