Exploring the Géopark de Percé in Canada

The explorer Samuel Champlain named the landmark le Rocher Percé, which means ‘pierced rock’, because of the arches, worn into the vast, cliff-like rock by the sea. Around 433 metres in length and 88 metres high, it is reminiscent of a stone iceberg jutting from the water. Around 150 types of fossil have been found in the limestone rock, which forms part of Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, along with the nearby Bonaventure Island.

‘Frans Hals and the Moderns’ in Haarlem, Holland

“Van Gogh was obsessed not so much by Rembrandt but by Hals. His works opened Van Gogh’s eyes to colour and a new bravura method,” asserted Ann Demeester, the Director of the Frans Hals Museum, at the opening of the exhibition. She explained that in letters written by Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo, the artist enthused about how Hals used colour to shape his paintings and featured more than twenty colours of black.

Scenic routes for a road trip in upstate New York

Baseball is America’s summer sport. Taking in a ball game while slurping cola and munching fast food is a way of experiencing American life. You can do that at countless minor league games across the state. Alternatively, head to Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx, or Citi Field, in Queens, to watch one of New York’s major league teams. Four hours’ drive north of the Big Apple lies Cooperstown, home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. It tells the story of the game and displays artefacts that have been worn and held by the sport’s biggest names. A self-guided tour means, like the drive northward, you do it in your own time.

Artist in profile: Claudy Jongstra

At Spannum, a few kilometres south-west of Húns, you can find the Farm of the World studio. Students from around the globe compete for prestigious apprenticeships. The property has a compact garden and a medicinal-smelling workshop in which plants are dried and treated to create dyes. Wool is carded and brushed to straighten wool fibres that will be utilised in artworks. Coloured wool is strewn on tables in the workshop across the yard where works are painstakingly created. Hues and textures are central to Jongstra’s artworks.

Sculpture in ceramics: an interview with artist Johan Creten

“I know for sure that in my world I have been a pioneer. I see the number of young people who have taken me as an example, not only for the changes in what you could do with the material, but also how you could run a career in the contemporary art world. To say I always show in a contemporary art context — that has been very important as an example for young artists. There was subject matter that was not talked about. Whether it’s justified, history will tell,” suggests Creten frankly.

12 August is World Elephant Day

I hope that many more generations of humans will be able to experience the sense of awe and joy that I have felt while watching elephants in the wild, in both Africa and Asia. Hopefully initiatives such as World Elephant Day will play a role in encouraging regulation of encroachment into their habitat and action against poaching.

Experiencing a residential boot camp in Northumberland with Northern Bootcamp

Northern Bootcamp was founded by Dan and Caroline Smith, a husband and wife team who ran their first boot camp, for friends and family, in Weardale during 2010. Caroline gained experience of working in the outdoors business in New Zealand while Dan spent 13 years as British Army physical training instructor. The camps run by Northern Bootcamp are non-military, so there’s not shouting to drive participants on. “I think it’s not for everyone…even when I was in the army that wasn’t always a good thing to do. You can encourage people hard without shouting and screaming every five minutes. People want to feel like they’re being cared for. At the same time, we do push people,” explained Dan.