Proper planning and proper evidence-based design can encompass  interventions such as green walls, green roofs, rainwater gardens, sustainable urban drainage systems and anti-pollution planting regimes.

There’s nothing natural about cities, is there? Built by people, for people, using man-made materials, with manicured green spaces full of specimen tr(...)

Mistletoe – an invasive species in every sense –  comes into its own at Christmas time. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A family Christmas is always a hodgepodge of influences. In our family, the kids open their stockings when they wake up, but they have to wait until e(...)

“The harvest festivals of my youth have been overtaken by something closer to a festival of waste that celebrates disposable plastic decorations, single-use kids’ costumes and enormous buckets of sweets, each one in its own little unrecyclable cellophane wrapper.” Photograph: David Sleator
Halloween is a load of rubbish

What are you doing for Halloween? I know what I’ll be doing. As soon as the kids’ sugar slumps kick in and the face paint is packed away, I’ll be sitt(...)