US News How the heatwave will impact British life

02:55  03 july  2018
02:55  03 july  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

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Hot weather pic - dog in sunglasses © Other Hot weather pic - dog in sunglasses

The UK is set to swelter during a four-week heatwave, as people dust off their barbecues and lay down their picnic blankets for a long summer.

But as forecasters warn of weeks of little rain following a dry June, we take a look at the impact the conditions will have on other areas of British life.

Pets

Celebrity vet Marc Abraham told Sky News people really need to think about how the hot weather affects their pets.

Fleas, ticks and flystrike, when flies lay eggs in an animal's fur, are big problems in the heat, so keep an eye out and check your pet every day.

Water is essential - so always make sure your pet has enough.

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When it comes to dogs he said the biggest issues are leaving them in a car - even for a few minutes - adder bites, dehydration and walking on hot pavements.

Keeper Fiona Carmichael feeds a ring-tailed lemur a fruit flavoured ice lolly at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling, as the heatwave is forecast to continue as temperatures are predicted to soar into the weekend. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images) © Getty Keeper Fiona Carmichael feeds a ring-tailed lemur a fruit flavoured ice lolly at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling, as the heatwave is forecast to continue as temperatures are predicted to soar into the weekend. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)

Dogs cannot sweat so they need lots of water to drink and Dr Abraham said it is a good idea to get them a paddling pool and a cooling coat - just make sure you re-drench it when it dries out.

He added that walking on hot pavements is something people often don't think about.

Dr Abraham added: "I see people trotting along with trainers on and their dogs are in pain, they don't realise their pads are not that protective.

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"So walk them on the grass or in the early morning or in the evening when the concrete is cool.

MARAZION, ENGLAND - JUNE 28:  A full moon rises behind St Michael's Mount in Marazion near Penzance on June 28, 2018 in Cornwall, England. Tonight's strawberry moon, a name given to the full moon in June by Native Americans because it coincides with strawberry picking season, comes as parts of the UK continue to experience heatwave weather and record breaking temperatures. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images) © Getty MARAZION, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: A full moon rises behind St Michael's Mount in Marazion near Penzance on June 28, 2018 in Cornwall, England. Tonight's strawberry moon, a name given to the full moon in June by Native Americans because it coincides with strawberry picking season, comes as parts of the UK continue to experience heatwave weather and record breaking temperatures. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

"Swimming is great but watch out for undercurrents and algae bloom, as you would for humans.

"Adders in the countryside are a problem, your dog will yelp and will normally have two puncture wounds on their nose - take them to the vet immediately and make sure you always have your vet's emergency number on your phone."

With cats, Dr Abraham said those with white ears and noses need to have suncream applied as the sun can cause cancer there within minutes.

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He warned that because they are outside for longer they become more territorial.

at Brighton beach on August 1, 2013 in Brighton, England. © Getty at Brighton beach on August 1, 2013 in Brighton, England.

For rabbits, they are prone to overheating so need to be kept in the shade with lots of bedding to burrow into.

"Flystrike is the biggest worry for rabbits," he said.

"They lay eggs in their bottom then maggots eat them from the inside so check under your rabbit's tail twice a day throughout summer."

With horses, flies are a big problem and if they are lacking hair cover or pigment they can get sunburnt easily.

Smaller animals such as guinea pigs and hamsters are pretty good in the heat as they are from the tropics, but still need lots of water.

The sheep were killed on train tracks in the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg © Getty The sheep were killed on train tracks in the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg

Farm animals

Gloucestershire farmer Luke Wilson told Sky News that after his 250 sheep were sheared in June they have been "relatively happy", but a lack of grass is the biggest problem.

He said: "Sheep are probably one of the hardiest animals in hot weather, we just have to make sure they have enough water in the troughs.

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Chief meteorologist Will Lang said: " The heatwave conditions will continue to affect pretty much all parts of the UK over the next few days. "These thundery downpours are likely in only a few places rather than across the whole warning area, the greatest chance of impacts such as spray and sudden

How do the homeless cope with a heatwave ? Another man, Michael, 53, who has been homeless for seven years and now lives in a hostel, said: "During the day because of the heat you suddenly realise you have no money, and you need a drink of some kind.

"It's their food which is a concern, I only feed my sheep on grass and we're about to run out due to a lack of rain.

"The lambs have grown really well so far as we had some very good spring grass growth while it was warm and wet.

"The ewes came through the winter in pretty good condition so are producing good milk and the lambs are growing well.

Female gorilla Effie enjoys an ice treat made with nuts and berries at London Zoo in London, Wednesday, June 27, 2018.  A heatwave has hit parts of Britain this week with temperatures reaching 30 degrees centigrade. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) © AP Female gorilla Effie enjoys an ice treat made with nuts and berries at London Zoo in London, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. A heatwave has hit parts of Britain this week with temperatures reaching 30 degrees centigrade. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

"I fear the problems may occur when I wean them in a couple of weeks as there really isn't any grass any more so their growth will slow up a lot.

"But maybe in a couple of weeks we will get some rain."

Mr Wilson added that the lack of grass will also affect the milk yield of dairy cows as they are sensitive to whatever they eat.

He added: "Beef cattle actually really enjoy the dry weather but are running out of grass to feed them, which is a bit of pain, but they should be OK.

"You can't do much about it other than pray for rain."

Romaine lettuce is thought to be the potential source of an E. Coli outbreak in America © Getty Romaine lettuce is thought to be the potential source of an E. Coli outbreak in America

Crops

Sweltering temperatures mean the demand for leafy vegetables has gone up, with more people thought to be opting for salads during the summer heat.

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But the British Leafy Salads Growers Association has said that the drier weather has created adverse conditions for growing some crops.

The association added that a record of 18 million lettuces have been sold in the UK in the last seven days, but high temperatures have stopped the crop growing.

UK retailers were said to be selling around 13 million heads of lettuce during its peak demand period in 2017.

Dieter Lloyd, a spokesperson for the British Leafy Salad Growers, said: "While it is great news that leafy salad sales are up around 40% across all retailers, that's just half the story.

A lettuce salad in a kitchen in London, as growers have warned of a possible shortage in UK supermarkets due to the heatwave. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images) © Getty A lettuce salad in a kitchen in London, as growers have warned of a possible shortage in UK supermarkets due to the heatwave. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

"The record temperatures have stopped the UK lettuce crop growing.

"When the mercury hits 27 - 30° degrees Celsius lettuces can't grow.

"In all of the major growing areas, from Cupar in Fife, through Preston, Lancs, to Ely in East Anglia and Chichester, Sussex, the hot weather has affected all our growers and we may be seeing some gaps on retailers' shelves in the next two weeks as the heatwave continues."

Broccoli also stops growing when it gets too hot, prompting fears of a shortage during the heatwave.

The pressure of increased demand and hot weather limiting supply means that growers may be turning to other sources of leafy salads to meet demand, with spinach and rocket said to be unaffected by the higher temperatures.

In the summer it is too hot to grow large quantities of lettuce in southern Europe, where UK salads are grown in the winter, which means shoppers may start seeing lettuces from the US on the shelves.

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They said: "The greatest chance of impacts is in the afternoon, with the risk decreasing again on Sunday When was the hottest day of the year and how many heatwaves will there be? Stay safe. Severe drought fears loom as Brits bask in the longest heatwave since 1976. LIFE HACK.

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Honey bees are seen at the J & P Apiary and Gentzel's Bees, Honey and Pollination Company on April 10, 2013 in Homestead, Florida © Getty Honey bees are seen at the J & P Apiary and Gentzel's Bees, Honey and Pollination Company on April 10, 2013 in Homestead, Florida

Insects

Buglife, a British charity that works to protect insects, has said freshwater invertebrates such as dragonflies could be in for a tough time as water sources dry up.

Mosquitoes and midges also require water sources, so this could lead to a reduction in their numbers.

A Buglife spokesman added that bees will benefit from the heatwave because when dry conditions follow a cold snap there is an abundance of flowers.

He added that the downside is the absence of rain means bees will find it difficult to find food later in the year.

Bumblebees do not like warm temperatures but have altered their behaviour to forage in the early morning and evening.

The dry conditions will have a negative affect on slugs and snails, who are said to have gone into a torpid state, meaning little physical activity.

This means they will be breeding and eating less.

Buckled tracks at Carlisle © Other Buckled tracks at Carlisle

Morning commutes

Network Rail has warned that tracks "buckle" in high temperatures, meaning they expand and start to curve.

Remote monitoring systems warn Network Rail when a section of track might be expanding too much, which prompts them to introduce local speed restrictions.

Slower trains exert lower forces on the track and reduce the chance of buckling, but could also lead to delays and long journeys for commuters.

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