Flora and fauna facing ‘apocalypse’ due to wet conditions
slugs and snails are thriving thanks to some of the wettest weather on record, but the outlook for other species looks bleak, the National Trust has warned.
The trust said the cold wet conditions have proved “almost apocalyptic” for many birds, bats, butterflies, bees, amphibians and wildflowers.
Species of rare and isolated insects such as butterflies could face extinction, while the wet weather has hit the breeding attempts of a wide array of wildlife, with puffins drowned in their burrows, sea birds being blown off cliffs by gales and garden birds struggling to find enough food for their young.
The cool conditions have also affected bats, in particular lesser and greater horseshoe bats whose pregnancies will have slowed down.
The dry start to the year dried up pools for amphibians to breed in, and when the rain arrived in April it filled up ponds with water too cool for frogs, newts and toads.
Small delicate annual flowers are struggling, although there have been some great displays of poppies in fields where agricultural spraying has failed due to the weather.
National Trust conservation adviser Matthew Oates said: “This is turning out to be an almost apocalyptic summer for most of our much-loved wildlife – birds, butterflies, bees.
“So much so that the prospects for many of these in 2013 are bleak. Our wildlife desperately needs some sustained sunshine, particularly beneficial insects.”
The bad weather has been blamed on the jet stream, which has shifted further south than usual, bringing wet and windy weather to the south of the country.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South