Longer, brighter days are almost in sight – ushered in by the clocks going forward in the UK to mark the return of British Summer Time.
The UK’s system sees the clocks change twice a year, ‘falling back’ ahead of winter and going forward in spring to give typically sun-starved Brits as much light as possible.
But when will clocks go forward in 2022?
And why do the clocks change in the UK each year?
Here’s what you need to know.
Why do clocks change in the UK?
British Summer Time has existed for over a century.
It was created following a campaign by British builder William Willett with the Summer Time Act of 1916.
Mr Willett wrote about his idea in his 1907 pamphlet called The Waste of Daylight, in which he proposed that days were made longer in the summer so he could play golf for longer.
After much lobbying, Mr Willett's idea was introduced to the UK a year after his death.
Shortly after, Germany and Austria also introduced Daylight Saving Time.
Now, many countries in mainland Europe also change their clocks in summer and winter.
It was thought that the new way of observing time would make the most of natural sunlight and conserve energy, which was essential during World War I when coal was limited.
The logic was that it was pointless to waste electricity when there was actual daylight still to be used.
When do the clocks go forward in 2022?
Clocks in the UK change twice a year in relation to the changing of seasons, with clocks going forward or ‘falling back’ by an hour depending on whether it is the start or end of British Summer Time.
In spring, the clocks go forward at 1am on the last Sunday of March to mark the beginning of British Summer Time.
And while this means we get an hour less in bed at this time of year, there is more daylight for us to enjoy on spring days, which are effectively 23 hours in length.
In autumn, the addition of an hour when clocks are moved back again means that there are roughly 25 hours in the day rather than 24.
The biannual UK clock changes are best summed up with the more concise, memorable phrase: ‘spring forwards, fall back’.
Last year, in 2021, the clocks went forward on Sunday March 28.
But in 2022, the clocks will go forward on Sunday March 27.
What is British Summer Time and when does it start in 2022?
British Summer Time (BST) is a time zone which is an hour ahead of the current UK time zone and is used to help Brits and those in northern hemisphere countries take advantage of increased daylight hours.
Due to the earth’s axis being tilted at 23.4 degrees, the northern hemisphere sees more daylight hours in summer and shorter, darker days in the winter.
The earth’s orbit of the sun sees the southern hemisphere countries experience longer, lighter days from November to March as the hemisphere closest to the sun during this period – benefitting from more direct light and warmth from the sun’s rays.
Moving the clocks forward allows Brits to take further advantage of its hemisphere’s time in the sun, but remains a controversial practice and one which could be scrapped in the near future.
In 2012, backbench MPs tried to change BST, but the Daylight Saving Bill 2010–12 did not succeed in the House of Commons.
While known as Summer Time in the UK, it is also sometimes referred to as Daylight Saving Time in countries such as Canada.
British Summer Time begins when the clocks go forward in spring each year – falling on Sunday 27 March in 2022.