Hottest July for over 40 years!
What started as glorious weather now looks as though it might be a problem for many.
The grass is parched and the verges look like Autumn.
The trees are stressed – this branch sheered off an oak on a completely calm day and has blocked the footpath through the woods.
This young elder is struggling,
as is this rhododendron.
This tree is getting Autumn colours...
...and this 10 year old beech tree has died. Beech trees with their shallow roots are particularly susceptible to drought.
Sunny Woodman lives in Frilsham woods alongside his weather station, where he has kept records for a number of years. Until the final weekend in July he recorded just a couple of mm of rain that month - then there was a welcome respite - a temperature drop and steady rain for hours. But August has started with a return to very hot weather...
Even in the sheltered woods he has recorded temperatures over 30C – no surprise to anyone trying to continue with their normal daily routine.
Helping animals - and humans!
Keep bird baths topped up and the RSPCA has advised against long walks with dogs and ball retrieving games. Dogs are unable to cool down through sweating, which is why they hang their tongues out and pant.
And be mindful of vulnerable neighbours – they might be struggling more than you.
The NFU has stated that crops were "being parched to the bone" and, because grass has stopped growing, they say that livestock farmers are feeding winter rations to their stock which will cause problems later on.
At the last Parish Council meeting Yattendon Estates reported that crop yields will be down due to the lack of rain. The baked crops can be seen as you alk along any of our local footpaths that cross fields and the cattle in the fields alongside the Pot Kiln are having to be fed as their normally luscious fields are brown.
There is no water shortage in Frilsham but everyone is asked to conserve water as the heatwave continues.
Water saving tips – nothing new but it is worth reminding ourselves
- Keep a jug of cold water in the fridge so you don’t need to keeping running the tap for a cool drink.
- Choose to shower rather than take a bath – the average bath uses 40 litres more water.
- Do not water your lawn – it will recover. A sprinkler on for 1 hour can use more water than a family of four would use in a day.
- Use ‘grey’ water where possible to water your flowers. Grey water has already been used, perhaps to wash fruit & veg, quick washing up in a bowl or hand washing clothes. The paddling pool water is also useful.
- Proudly drive a dusty car. If you must wash it use a bowl and sponge (no hosepipe!)
- Don’t brush teeth under a running tap.
- Only boil enough water for the drinks you are having – it is not necessary to fill the kettle.
- Wait until your washing machine is full before turning it on. Settings for half a load use more than half the water and energy of a full load, so you are better off waiting.
- Report water leaks ASAP – on your property and along the lanes
It is still hot – but enjoy it if you can!