Thursday, August 15, 2013

Victoria's Green Matters - 15th August 2013

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury
There were two contrasting stories this week concerning our long winter and late, cold spring; one good and one bad.

The good news is the report that one of our vineyards in Surrey is expecting a bumper harvest this year with vines already heavy with fruit. The cold winter got rid of all the bugs but during April, which is a critical time for vines, there was no frost so that the vines flowered in June. Now the mini heat wave is baking the soils of Surrey which should lead to a record crop later in the year.

English wine has become renowned for its quality and 4 million bottles are being drunk each year and easy availability from the supermarkets is a big plus.

A very sad story this week is about our barn owls. This beautiful bird, one of our most favourite, has suffered dramatically from a run of extreme weather events since 2009. The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has reported that there has been a 280% increase in reports of dead barn owls in March and many of them had starved.

Last year, after very good weather in March and early breeding, continual rain in June meant that many owlets died because the parents could not hunt in the wet weather. The last straw was the heavy snow fall in March this year, leading to the worst breeding season for 30 years.

This shows just how dependent we are on our weather, despite all our technology.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

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