Cool summer brings glut of autumn fruit

tải xuống (5) THE coolest summer for 18 years means that autumn fruits and golden leaves are on their way earlier than usual.

That means good news for wild birds bingeing on berries but has given fruit farmers across the county a slight headache as they are forced to adjust their plans to cope with the prolonged wet and gloomy conditions.

Martin Harrel of Hayles Fruit Farm, near Winchcombe, regularly sells fruit such as apples and pears at Stroud farmers market, and he has had to hurriedly recruit extra groups of pickers to make sure he does not miss out on the early crop.

"Crops of apples such as Discovery are 15 to 17 days early," he said. "And Cox’s are 10 to 14 days early. It affects us from a pickers point of view, as we secured them in February."

The central England average temperature recorded throughout the summer was a lowly 14.9C – a temperature not seen since 1993 and down from 15.9C last year, provisional figures for June 1 to August 29 show.

Meteogroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said this is in comparison to a long-term average of 15.3C which is taken over a period of 30 years.

The summer has also been considerably wetter across most of the country with southern England and eastern Scotland taking the brunt of the rain.

The wet weather has led to a glut of berries, and Dr Gordon McGlone, chief executive of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, said that although it may not have been favourable weather for holidaymakers, some birds will be able to take advantage of the conditions this autumn and winter. Species like thrush and fieldfare will benefit from that," he said.

"The summer has been quite dry but not seriously enough to make big differences."

He said more general climactic change still meant that temperatures in general are still on the rise, however.

The Echo’s weather expert Ian Thomas said that according to his records, this year had seen the coolest summer since 1998. This year the average temperature was 15.3C, as opposed to 15C 13 years ago.

"Of the 92 days in (August, July and June), 32 days were 21C or lower," he said. "The warmest day was June 26, at 29C."

While the majority of the country has seen higher than average rainfall this summer, some parts of the country, including Gloucestershire, have escaped the rainfall and remained dryer than normal, he said.

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