For while we may be two weeks into winter, Britain’s gardens, parks and hedgerows are bursting with the signs of spring and summer — and a host of confused plants and animals.
The topsy-turvy weather saw this year’s Remembrance Sunday accompanied by real red poppies growing in hedgerows, apple blossom on trees and swallows arriving from Africa — all sights usually spotted earlier in the year.
According to the Met Office, September was the sixth warmest on record, while October was the eighth hottest. And in the past two weeks, the mercury has crept above 15c.
The mild autumn is the result of high pressure over Europe, which has sent warm southerly and south-westerly winds over the UK from Spain and the western Mediterranean.
This follows a remarkable year of weather — with a freezing, snowy winter, a hot early spring and a dismally grey and rainy summer. But the mild weather is unlikely to last much longer, and within weeks the country could be in the grip of another hard winter.
Which will come as a shock for these plants and animals that seem thoroughly baffled by our odd weather... Read More