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Quiet day in the office? In need of some inspiration to fill that slot on the features page? Check out our story ideas here and see if you can take news developments from around the UK and localise them for your patch.

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House prices are still falling, right?

Regular visitors to the Story Ideas page may remember this one from March 2008. We told you about website Property Snake which details houses that are falling, rather than increasing, in price. Now a year later most estate agents would

Good will from a good will

America multi-billionairess Leona Helmsley died in 2007 and left some of her estate to dog charities. Now a New York judge has ruled that some of it can go to other good causes, including medical research and education. Have charities

Worshipping at a model temple

A farmer has spent over three decades creating a scale model of a biblical temple. But Alec Garrard, from Norfolk, fears that it will never be finished as he’s always finding new pieces to add. See some amazing photos of

Working late again?

It’s a well-used stat but we Brits work some of the longest hours of any EU country. But staying late, out of either love for the job or just plain necessity, may harm more than just your home and social

Pick up litter and pick up a voucher

A warm sense of self-satisfaction is now not the only reward youngsters can get for ‘doing their good deed’ for the day. Police in some parts of Devon have agreed to reward young people for picking up litter or helping

Over-eating as dangerous over-smoking

Obese teenagers are just as likely to die early as smokers who have more than ten cigarettes a day. A new Swedish study also suggests a premature death is more than twice as likely compared with normal weight youngsters while

Armour for the perilous life of paramedic

The life of a paramedic is becoming so perilous that they should wear body armour for certain jobs. Figures reveal that ambulance staff need a police escort or are warned about potential attacks at more than 7,500 homes in England.

Here comes the bride…..with no expense spared!

It seems the credit crunch and recession are yet to hit the bridalwear market. Despite widespread job losses and the collective tightening of belts, brides-to-be are still determined to have ‘their day’, on their terms. The UK bridal market has

Don't stall to get to the stalls

Over half a million free theatre tickets are to be given to under-26s across the UK in a bid to boost interest among the young. The scheme – called ‘A Night Less Ordinary’ – is being run by the Arts

On a level with the 'amber-gamblers'

The phrase ‘amber-gambler’ is often used to describe drivers who chance their arm when traffic lights are changing to red. But a disturbing number of drivers are now risking theirs and countless other lives by jumping lights at level crossings,

Form a queue and mind your Ps and Qs

A school in Hampshire has seen a rise in attendances and grades after a headteacher introduced a new book of golden rules containing a code of behaviour for pupils. The youngsters are expected to queue in an orderly fashion outside

The future of heat in the home

Household waste could be used to top up householders’ gas supplies in the future. Research by the National Grid says that leftover food and sewage could be used to create ‘biogas’, potentially helping to heat half of Britain’s homes. But

Flocking Down Under

The lure of year-round sun, lower cost of living and a fresh start in life have tempted record numbers of Brits to emigrate Down Under. During 2008 more than 7,000 Britons moved to Australia – a rise of one third

Curbing childhood obesity

A new ten-week boot camp-style scheme is being piloted in Wales to tackle the problem of overweight children. The project, called ‘Mend – Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do It!’, will target 2,000 seven to 13-year-olds in the country where it’s believed 20pc

Fancy a holiday? Got £47,000?

It seems one holiday company is determined to laugh in the face of the credit crunch and recession. Tour operator Hayes and Jarvis is offering a 32-day VIP round-the-world trip taking in destinations as far afield as Costa Rice, Egypt

Kissing the parking permit goodbye

Hospital staff in Greater Manchester have been told their £14-a-month parking passes will not be renewed. The move, affecting two hospitals in Bury and Oldham, will mean staff either have to use public transport or pay five times as much