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‘Solar powered vacuum cleaners’: the native plants that could clean toxic soil

It almost looked like a garden. In Taylor Yard, a former railyard near downtown Los Angeles, volunteers knelt down to tend to scrubby plants growing in neat rows under the sweltering sun. But beneath the concrete of the 60-acre site…

‘We found 700 different species’: astonishing array of wildlife discovered in Cambodia mangroves

One of the most comprehensive biodiversity surveys ever carried out in a mangrove forest has revealed that an astonishing array of wildlife makes its home in these key, threatened habitats. Hundreds of species – from bats to birds and fish…

‘Grownup’ leaders are pushing us towards catastrophe, says former US climate chief

Political leaders who present themselves as “grownups” while slowing the pace of climate action are pushing the world towards deeper catastrophe, a former US climate chief has warned. “We are slowed down by those who think of themselves as grownups…

The disease-busting hybrids that could bring back the majestic English elm

Constable painted them. Shakespeare wrote of them. And Francis Drake sailed the world in a ship made from them. English elms were a mainstay of England’s landscape and culture – until they all but disappeared to Dutch elm disease in…

‘The courgettes were so good last year, I got a tattoo of one’: life on a Birmingham allotment

On Dads Lane, where several Birmingham suburbs meet, there is a gap in the houses, no wider than a driveway. If you didn’t know what was hiding in there, you would walk straight past. It is a brisk, bright Sunday…

Jail for holding a placard? Protest over the climate crisis is being brutally suppressed | Natasha Walter

Years ago, when Dr Sarah Benn recognised the scale of the climate crisis, she made sure that she was doing all the right things. She recycled, she went vegan, she stopped flying, she voted Green, she signed petitions. It was because…

Rope-entangled right whale spotted off coast of New England

A North Atlantic right whale has been spotted entangled in rope off New England, worsening an already devastating year for the vanishing animals, federal authorities said. Right whales number less than 360 and are vulnerable to entanglement in fishing gear…

‘A glittering new world of intrigue’: the rich stories Britain’s insects have to tell

I never expected a later-life love affair. But a few years ago, I was commissioned to write a book on garden insects and the earth moved. All of a sudden, I realised that my garden wasn’t just full of six-legged…

Network of ‘ghost roads’ paves the way for levelling Asia-Pacific rainforests

A vast network of undocumented “ghost roads” is pushing into the world’s untouched rainforests and driving their destruction in the Asia-Pacific region, a new study has found. By using Google Earth to map tropical forests on Borneo, Sumatra and New…

Country diary: Standing up for the lesser celandine, a truly sensitive flower | Jim Perrin

William Wordsworth’s best‑known poem may be addressed to daffodils, but his favourite flower in the year’s bright early succession was the lesser celandine. It’s a preference I share. On the whole, gardeners and botanists do not. Those I’ve canvassed for their…