Nitrogen footprint warning from European agencyGuardian Unlimited | 10 Apr 2011
New study says nitrogen pollution costs every person in Europe £650 a year in damage to water, climate, health and wildlife. Nitrogen pollution is costing every person in Europe up to £650 a year in damage to water, climate, health and wildlife, a study warns. Scientists behind the research said nitrogen was needed as fertiliser to help feed a growing world population - but suggested that eating less meat could reduce the amount of pollution caused by agriculture.
Shale gas stirs ecology fears in South Africa's KarooReuters | 08 Apr 2011
South Africa's Karoo, a vast arid wilderness, may contain gas reserves that could solve the country's energy problems -- but only through an extraction process called fracking that has greens seeing red.
The 10 best woods and forests for spring flowersGuardian Unlimited | 08 Apr 2011
A visit to Priestley Wood in spring or early summer should test even the most knowledgeable plant-identifier. Some 130 flowering plants have been recorded in the woods, which have been designated a site of special scientific interest. There are relatively large populations of the twayblade orchid, the common spotted orchid, wild garlic, broad-leaved helleborine, herb Paris, primrose and the ever-popular bluebell.
Wild Atlantic salmon 'under threat' from escaped farmed fish and sea liceGuardian Unlimited | 07 Apr 2011
Scottish salmon industry criticised by leading anglers group which says government fish farm inspections are 'too lenient'. Fish farms are being frequently hit by parasite infestations and mass escapes that threaten the survival of the UK's wild salmon stocks, a leading anglers' group has said....
Biodiversity vital to streams as extinctions riseReuters | 06 Apr 2011
As Earth enters a period of mass extinction, a study released on Wednesday offers a new reason to preserve biodiversity: it's an effective, natural pollution scrubber in streams.
The butterfly effect: not chaos, but wonderGuardian Unlimited | 06 Apr 2011
A new exhibition reveals the astonishing habits of butterflies - including one that drinks a caiman's tears. The sandy-bottomed puddle in a tent on the Natural History Museum's front lawn in London does not look the most alluring of aphrodisiacs. But this shallow pool filled with an elixir of...
Letters: Vanished landscapeGuardian Unlimited | 05 Apr 2011
Surely Jane Austen would recognise a remarkable change to the landscape of the South Downs since her time (Report, 1 April)? Natural history writers such as WH Hudson would be devastated by it. Grazing of these hills for thousands of years had produced an open landscape providing the freedom to...
Honeybees 'entomb' cells to protect hiveGuardian Unlimited | 04 Apr 2011
By sealing up cells full of contaminated pollen, bees appear to be attempting to protect the rest of the hive. Honeybees are taking emergency measures to protect their hives from pesticides, in an extraordinary example of the natural world adapting swiftly to our depredations, according to a...
Sales of organic products in UK fall by 5.9%Guardian Unlimited | 04 Apr 2011
Sales of organic food, drink and textiles fall as producers battle against the downturn in demand, say Soil Association. Sales of organic products have fallen by 5.9% in the UK over the past year as producers continued to battle against the downturn in consumer demand and challenging trading...
Osprey webcam thrills bird lovers as Lady of the Loch awaits mateGuardian Unlimited | 02 Apr 2011
Thousands log on worldwide to watch oldest breeding osprey keep vigil beside Scottish loch. Inside a wooden hide at the edge of a Perthshire loch, there is a flurry of excitement and a crackling of waterproof clothing. Binoculars are raised and whispered instructions exchanged. But hopes quickly...
The week in wildlifeGuardian Unlimited | 01 Apr 2011
Don't get your feathers ruffled by our April fool's joke hidden among the the flora and fauna in this week's pick of images from the natural world.
Small birds thriving after harsh winterGuardian Unlimited | 31 Mar 2011
Small birds have made a comeback this year after a dramatic decline in their numbers last spring, according to findings from the wildlife survey Big Garden Birdwatch. Experts feared the worst after last year's results, which showed that the coldest winter for 30 years, in 2009- 10, had been...
Anne the elephant leaves Bobby Roberts circus after cruelty inquiryGuardian Unlimited | 31 Mar 2011
RSPCA and police called in after Animal Defenders secretly film circus worker kicking and beating Anne the elephant. One of the country's most famous circuses has become a target for animal welfare activists after a worker was secretly filmed beating an elephant. Police were called to the Bobby Roberts Super Circus big top near Knutsford, Cheshire, as families from the audience leaving the performance were heckled by protesters.
Granny osprey flies back to Scotland from Africa for record 21st timeGuardian Unlimited | 29 Mar 2011
Lady, oldest osprey in the UK, is preparing to mate in Dunkeld, Scotland, after travelling thousands of miles from the GambiaOne of the world's oldest ospreys, which has already laid 58 eggs and seen 48 chicks leave her nest, has returned to her roost in the Highlands, breaking her own record for...
Adder abnormalities lead to UK's first genetic survey of snakesGuardian Unlimited | 27 Mar 2011
Researchers want to find out if decreasing numbers of snakes caused by urbanisation has led to inbreeding among adders. With a quick dart of the arm, snake catcher Nigel Hand snares his prey and holds the wriggling adder aloft. The bronze snake, hissing and flicking out its black forked tongue, has...
Weatherwatch: why the December freeze killed so many shrubs and treesGuardian Unlimited | 27 Mar 2011
A large number of shrubs and trees, some large and mature, appear to have died this winter. These losses are far greater than are usually seen even in Britain's coldest weather and will be a surprise to many gardeners. It seems the December cold snap is responsible. Research during the last century...
The week in wildlifeGuardian Unlimited | 25 Mar 2011
Spring sightings, music for plants and flood-escaping spiders - the pick of this week's images from the natural world.