No Flaming June ….but still save water Trust urges…..
The hottest April on record and one of the driest on the Isle of Wight since records began. This was followed by the wettest May for decades. The late May bank holiday saw St Catherine’s Point with the most rain overnight in the UK, with 52mm (2.05in) of rain over a 12-hour period between 6pm on Sunday to 6am on the Monday.
June faired little better, with little sunshine and was the wettest June the UK had seen since detailed records began. The Met Office confirmed that 134.5mm (5.3in) of rain fell across the four countries. The average June rainfall in the UK is 72.6mm (3in). A new record was also set for England, with 140.2mm (5.5in) of rain. England has suffered its wettest July on record. Some 129mm (5.07in) of rain fell up to 29 July, beating the previous record of 126.5mm (4.98in) set in 1936. Areas of England and Wales have been devastated by flooding. The total cost to the insurance industry could be as much a £3 billion.
The impact of climate change on wildlife in Britain will be negative too. If the world takes strong action to curb greenhouse gas emissions, we should be able to limit climate change to less than a 2°C average temperature rise. Nevertheless, a two degree rise will still have a marked impact on the UK’s diverse ecosystems.
Hawthorn has been a symbol of May since ancient times but this year it was flowering in early April. Flowers such as snowdrops are blooming earlier in the spring, oaks are leafing earlier and butterflies such as holly blues are appearing earlier. The evidence of Climate Change is all around us and further afield, at the polar Ice caps and on coral reefs due to warmer seas.
In 2005 water shortages in the south of England took their toll on breeding wading birds. Numbers of breeding redshanks, lapwings and snipewaders dropped by up to 80% at five RSPB nature reserves in Sussex and Kent as there is simply not enough water available to maintain their wetland habitats.
Wetland birds such as redshank will find their habitats threatened by climate change. Saltmarshes will become inundated by the sea while moors and wet grasslands will dry up during hot summers.
The last few weeks news has been full of stories of severe flooding. It might seem strange therefore that local charity the Footprint Trust and Waterwise are still calling on people to save water.
‘The overall trend will be more erratic weather. The south east will be drier overall and there will be water shortages. We need to work with nature rather than against it…’ said Ray Harrington-Vail of the Footprint Trust.
‘Many builders and local authorities have ignored expert advice against building on flood planes….that with Climate Change is reaping disasters..’ he continued.
‘Saving water helps the environment by reducing carbon emissions – 3% of all emissions in the UK are from the water industry. Water is very heavy and needs vast amounts of energy to move around..” Said Ray.
The Footprint Trust’s Waterworks project will be visiting events on the Island this summer giving away Southern Water Save-A-Flush bags and information on saving water.
The Footprint Trust recently praised the IW Council on one of its green initiatives. – ‘One Million Blooms’ which is creating drought-tolerant landscaping in our parks and open spaces. This investment will radically reduce water usage and the associated costs. Many of the plants being chosen also benefit birds, butterflies and bats.
‘Gardeners wanting inspiration on what to plant should visit Ventnor Botanic Gardens, the largest drought–tolerant garden in the south of England.’ Said Mr Harrington-Vail
Look out for the Footprint Trust’s Saving Water leaflet …in local libraries and help centres. You can also view it on the Footprint Trust website.
You and your family, school, church or business can get involved in the Waterworks project. Become a Water-Watcher by looking for ways in which to save water.
· Design posters for your washroom or toilets
· Place Southern Water ‘Save-a-Flush’ bags in large cisterns
· Create a drought-tolerant garden
· Report leaking taps and pipes
The Footprint Trust can visit Isle of Wight schools, churches and community buildings and give you ideas on water saving.
For more details please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The WaterWorks initiative is supported by The IW AONB Sustainable Development Fund, along with the IWEP EU Leader+ programme and Southern Water.
A hot dripping tap could waste around £70 a year in water and energy costs
Today we use 50% more water than 25 years ago…around 160 litres per person every day