Countryside

In defence of British landowners (and the truth about grouse moors)

18 May 2019 9:00 am

I was surprised to read the article by Ben Macdonald in last week’s Spectator urging Britain’s grouse moor owners to…

Gamekeepers burn heather to encourage new growth for red grouse to feed on (Getty)

Rewilding our grouse moors would leave landowners and the public better off

11 May 2019 9:00 am

Our upland wildlife has been destroyed – but there is an answer

The savagery and death lurking within our beautiful countryside

4 May 2019 9:00 am

This is the time of year when the English countryside reaches peak incredible: when we rural folk mentally pinch ourselves…

Natural England is overwhelmed – and farmers are paying the price

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Last week, on the first day of the government’s ban on farmers shooting pest birds, I walked across St James’s…

The Beatles perform in Liverpool prior to signing their first recording contract: George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and original drummer Pete Best. Photo: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The greatest Beatle? Pete Best

30 March 2019 9:00 am

Which of the Beatles would you most like to have been? Not either of the dead ones, presumably. Nor the…

Professional villagers won’t rest until they have eliminated mud from the countryside

23 March 2019 9:00 am

‘Don’t touch anything sharp. Don’t saw anything or drill anything or sand anything,’ said the builder boyfriend as he left…

Credit: tirc83

Surrey’s Gore-tex-collar crime wave

26 January 2019 9:00 am

The frustrating thing about rights is that when you give them to people they don’t cherish and appreciate them. They…

Brexit will give us back the countryside, as well as our country

2 December 2017 9:00 am

Rural landscapes and lifestyles deserve a Brexit boost

How the National Trust is spoiling its treasures

11 March 2017 9:00 am

How the National Trust is spoiling its treasures

The Suffolk side of the Stour

The beauty and heartbreak of Haywain country

11 March 2017 9:00 am

You’ve already seen a picture of the Essex-Suffolk border. Assuming you’ve seen Constable’s ‘The Haywain’, that is: the Stour (the…

1917: Saving the English village

4 March 2017 9:00 am

From ‘Sir Thomas Acland’s example’, The Spectator, 3 March 1917: In 1912 we discussed the idea — a favourite dream…

Clueless dog owners are to blame for a huge increase in sheep-worrying

4 March 2017 9:00 am

Clueless dog owners are behind a huge increase in sheep-worrying

Saint Anthony was right — my bank card was in the bathroom

11 February 2017 9:00 am

February Fill-Dyke. But north Norfolk is dry, at least in terms of rain. Instead we have coastal flooding. Three years…

A storm brewing over Hill Hill Hill

The magic and strangeness of British placenames

4 February 2017 9:00 am

British placenames are so good you can read the map for entertainment rather than navigation. Hardington Mande-ville, Bradford Peverell, Carlton…

The Stonehenge tunnel is monumental folly

21 January 2017 9:00 am

The Stonehenge tunnel is a ruinously expensive plan that will deprive millions of a small but important pleasure

When blacking up carried the death penalty

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Black background A Morris dancing troupe with blacked-up faces had to abandon its performance in a Birmingham shopping centre after…

A better year ahead? That’s what the tsar expected in 1917

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Someone came up with a century-old quotation plangent with irony and sadness: ‘The year 1916 was cursed: 1917 will surely…

What wine is worthy of white truffle? It took us a few tries to be sure

19 November 2016 9:00 am

A few days ago, on the Dorset/Somerset marches, autumn was still in orderly retreat. Although a pear tree’s leaves had…

Are they going to sacrifice a Brexiteer on Ripley Bonfire?

5 November 2016 9:00 am

For three months after I move to the country, I am told, I am going to be in the most…

Why won’t the RSPB join my war on squirrels?

22 October 2016 9:00 am

The week began badly when I spotted three grey squirrels gathering beechnuts in our arboretum. During our time at our…

Rewilding: the left’s latest crazy, dangerous idea

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Why rewilding is mad, bad and dangerous to do

The law that’s letting local heroes save their village pubs

10 September 2016 9:00 am

The much-mocked ‘localism agenda’ is letting villages save their threatened pubs – including, I hope, mine

If you want a long and happy life, don’t retire to the country

10 September 2016 9:00 am

There is no cherished assumption that now goes unchallenged. The latest one is that country air is good for you.…

Rievaulx: only swifts and pigeons break the silence

Stay amid the stones of Rievaulx

3 September 2016 9:00 am

We’re so used to looking at the abbeys smashed up by Henry VIII — particularly Rievaulx and Byland, in north…

At Kingston Lacy, Dorset (right): Rubens’s ‘Portrait of a Noblewoman with a Dwarf’, 1606

The countryside contains enough show-stopping paintings to rival the National Gallery

27 August 2016 9:00 am

Martin Gayford says that summer is the perfect time to view the show-stopping art in Britain’s stately homes, which adds up to an alternative National Gallery