Country Life Today: Prepare for four heat waves a year and twice as many flash floods, warns MET Office

In today's round-up we share the MET Office's most detailed long-term projection, bad news for arachnophobes and the passing of a quacking star.

Britain faces four heatwaves and twice as many flash floods a year

In its most detailed long-term projection, the MET Office has predicted Britain will see four heatwaves a year and twice as many flash floods in 50 years.

It took one year for a supercomputer to calculate ‘hyper-local’ predictions (2.2km), which were analysed by top climate scientists.

Data will be used to help government prepare for these weather extremes, such as by building flood defences and helping farmers deal with dryer summers.

‘What we’ve been able to do with the UK’s future climate is to model the impacts of extremely localised events, like the one in Boscastle in August 2004, which saw one month’s rainfall fall in just two hours on the Cornish coastal village: you just can’t capture these in coarser projections,’ said Dr Lizzie Kendon, a climate scientist at the Met Office specialising in extreme rainfall.

Full story (The Telegraph)


Attenborough to front biodiversity initiative

Sir David Attenborough will be the face of a new study exploring biodiversity loss and its impact on the ecomomy.

The project, led by the Cambridge university professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, comes as the government attempts to demonstrate its determination to fight the climate emergency.

Full story (The Guardian)


Web trawl indicates abundant arachnids

Spiders are doing particularly well in Britain this year, due to the warm, wet summer, according to entomologists at the University of Gloucestershire.

The conditions have created an ideal environment for the smaller insects that spiders eat, allowing the eight-legged creatures to thrive.

The university team used ‘Twitter mining’ — by logging social media postings about spiders they built an ecological picture of the situation, with early indications suggesting this year’s ‘spider season’ is busier than that of 2018.

Full story (The Telegraph)


On This Day — Lord of the Flies is published

William Golding’s manuscript had been rejected by a raft of publishers before he sent it to Faber & Faber in 1953; they, too, rejected it initially, with the reader assigned to it not being impressed. But a freshly-arrived editor at the company, Charles Monteith, picked it out of the slush pile and, with a few tweaks, published it exactly 65 years ago, as Lord of the Flies.

A career was launched, and Golding would go on to write dozens of books, plays and other works, earning both a knighthood and a Nobel Prize as he did so.


A gorgeous weekend at one of Britain’s favourite events

A psychedelic Roller? Just one of the thousands of classic car enthusiasts in period dress. Credit: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

A psychedelic Roller? Just one of the thousands of classic car enthusiasts in period dress. Credit: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

The Goodwood Revival is always a highlight of the calendar — and we’ve picked out some of the best images to give you a flavour of the weekend, whether you made it along or not.

See gallery (Country Life)


And finally… RIP to the duck who acted as the Queen’s tour guide

Sad news from Edinburgh, where Olive the duck has passed away at Gorgie City Farm.

Olive quacked her way to 15 minutes of fame in July this year when she gave the Queen a guided tour of the farm where she lived.

Olive, who often acted as a human and was even known to have hopped on to buses, died last week at the ripe old age of four. ‘Never has a duck been so loved,’ the farm said on social media. ‘Sleep well, little Olive.’