Unseasonably warm weather across the whole of the UK is leading to some unusual sights for December walkers. With temperatures set to remain in double figures for at least another week, nature is one confused lady.
Some plants are being tricked into an early spring. Daffodils and snowdrops bulbs are surfacing and blooming in many places and, in some woodlands, the bluebells are already shooting through the soil surface. Blossom is reported to be appearing on some trees, even as far north as parts of Scotland, and holly in the Royal Botanic Gardens is currently in flower, rather than being decked with festive red berries. Other plants are still clinging to the feel of a (very) later summer and you don’t need to look far to see garden roses still in full bloom.
The National Trust says this mild spell may actually be good news for animals which would typically go into hibernation because it gives them more time to prepare for the upcoming winter. For walkers, remember that the warmth is helping to extend the season for insects...there are still biting beasts about like ticks and midges, so keep your arms and legs covered.
If you’re combining a town walk with a festive market, you might be disappointed on the ice skating front. The warm weather is rather dampening the Christmas spirit with the chillers for outdoor ice rinks struggling to turn the giant puddles into a winter scene. It’s not all bad news for the festive season. The higher-than-normal temperatures have led to a bumper crop of sprouts and has made them much larger than normal!
19 December 2015