Abnormal weather conditions threaten Britain’s nature, National Trust warns

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Abnormal weather conditions threaten Britain’s nature as thousands of trees and plants are devastated, National Trust warns

  • The National Trust’s annual review highlighted the effects of Storm Arwen
  • The charity warned of more frequent and intense extreme weather events
  • But this year’s wildlife winners include beavers released on the Holnicote estate.
  • Record numbers of gray seals expected thanks to abundance of fish and crabs










Wildfires, Storm Arwen and extreme weather events have left our natural world in a precarious position at the end of this year, the National Trust has warned.

Heat waves and heavy rains are becoming ‘more frequent and intense’ in Britain due to climate change.

The association’s annual review highlights damage from Storm Arwen, which destroyed thousands of irreplaceable trees and plants in the Lake District and Bodnant Garden in Conwy, in the north of the country last month of Wales, including 250-year-old oaks and beeches and a 170-foot sequoia.

Charity’s annual review highlights damage from Storm Arwen, which destroyed thousands of irreplaceable trees last month

It has also been a bad year for ash dieback, with an unusually warm winter preventing the fungi that devastate British ash trees from being killed by the cold.

The National Trust plans to spend £ 3million over the next few months to tackle ash dieback, which could wipe out around 95% of UK trees, dramatically changing the face of our campaign.

However, the 2021 Wildlife winners include the Beavers released to the Holnicote Estate in Exmoor, West Somerset, whose first kit was born in June and named Rashford after England footballer Marcus Rashford.

A lesion on an infected ash tree.  National Trust plans to spend £ 3million over the next few months to tackle ash dieback

A lesion on an infected ash tree. National Trust plans to spend £ 3million over the next few months to tackle ash dieback

Record numbers of gray seals are expected, thanks to the abundance of fish and crabs to eat. It has been a bumper year for berries, including hawthorn, rowan, and holly, which is good news for the migratory birds that eat them, such as blackbirds, redbirds and warblers.

Regarding the disturbing events for nature this year, Ben McCarthy, head of nature conservation and restoration ecology at the National Trust, said: “The climate crisis is making extreme weather events the new normal.

“Heat waves and heavy precipitation are becoming more frequent and intense.

2021 Wildlife winners include beavers released on the Holnicote estate in Exmoor, West Somerset (pictured) whose first kit was born in June

2021 Wildlife winners include beavers released on the Holnicote estate in Exmoor, West Somerset (pictured) whose first kit was born in June

“These extreme events put even more pressure on Britain’s wildlife, which is already in trouble, with almost half of species in decline and 15% of UK wildlife threatened with extinction.”

A massive fire in the Morne Mountains, Northern Ireland, in April destroyed 200 hectares of moorland.

Short-eared owls, curlews, weasels and stoats have been affected by the devastation caused by the fires at Marsden Moor in Yorkshire, which damaged peaty soils thousands of years old.

The hot, dry spring has endangered the great blue butterfly, which lays its eggs on thyme plants which withered during the drought, killing large numbers of caterpillars in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Record numbers of gray seals, pictured, are expected, thanks to the abundance of fish and crabs to eat

Record numbers of gray seals, pictured, are expected, thanks to the abundance of fish and crabs to eat

Northerly winds delayed the migration of swallows and house swallows through the Sandilands Coastal Nature Reserve in Lincolnshire in April, as rain and gales led to a poor nesting season for many species of birds.

But the orchids bloomed profusely after a very dry April and unusually hot June.

Slugs and snails were happy too, with cooler weather bringing hundreds of them to Ham House in west London where they tormented National Trust gardeners.

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