Latest UK weather: Farmers fear scorched crops as reservoirs dry up during heatwave

UK weather: the latest Met Office forecast

Farmers have warned of scorched crops as the rare heatwave leaves fields parched, posing a “significant challenge” to their yield.

Andrew Blenkiron, manager of the Euston estate near Thetford and chairman of the National Farmers Union in Suffolk, said he was growing “about 1,200 acres of irrigated root crops – i.e. parsnips, potatoes, carrots and onions”.

He said BBC Radio 4 today program that a “significant challenge has arisen at this time in trying to keep these crops fully watered to ensure they meet market specifications and actually generate a yield.”

Meanwhile, the reservoirs are drying up under the extreme heat. The remains of an ancient village can be seen in Thruscross Reservoir near Harrogate, North York after water levels dropped significantly in the sweltering heat on Tuesday.

It comes as the Met Office predicted record high temperatures are set for Monday and Tuesday next week, where the mercury could soar to 35C in parts of the UK.

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How hot will it be next week?

Extreme heat is in store for many parts of the UK for the start of next week, but how hot will it be?

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Isle of Sheppey: Water supply back after taps went dry for thousands during heatwave

Residents of the Isle of Sheppey can expect their water supply to return on Thursday after burst pipes left thousands without water in the hottest week of the year.

Two main pipes to the island off the Kent coast burst on Tuesday, affecting 24,000 homes and closing 12 schools.

Bottled water points were set up by Southern Water and tankers were brought in to supply Sheppey Community Hospital.

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Farmers warn of scorched crops as reservoirs dry up during heatwave

Farmers have warned of scorched crops as the rare heat wave leaves fields parched.

Andrew Blenkiron, manager of the Euston estate near Thetford and chairman of the Suffolk National Farmers Union, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program this morning: “We farm around 1,200 acres of irrigated root crops – so that’s parsnips and potatoes and carrots and onions and that’s where our big challenge has come in at the moment to try to keep those crops fully watered to make sure they respond to market specifications and that they actually generate a return.

Meanwhile, the reservoirs are drying up under the extreme heat. It comes as the Met Office predicted record high temperatures are set for Monday and Tuesday next week, where the mercury could soar to 35C in parts of the UK.

(Getty Images)

The remains of an ancient village can be seen in Thruscross Reservoir near Harrogate, North York after water levels dropped significantly in the sweltering heat on Tuesday.

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UK heatwave: Government contingency planning as temperatures could hit 40C

Britain could see its first-ever national heat wave emergency this weekend as forecasters warn of dangerously high temperatures in the coming days.

The Met Office predicts the mercury will rise above 35C and could even reach 40C on Sunday. There is a roughly 30% chance that the current heat record – 38.7°C set in Cambridge in 2019 – will be broken.

As parts of south-east England sweltered to 31C on Tuesday, the Met Office issued an updated ‘amber’ extreme heat warning covering July 17-18 for much of England and Wales.

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How hot does it have to be to close schools?

According to the government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), schools must follow the same health and safety laws for indoor temperatures as workplaces.

So how hot does it have to be for schools to close? Find out all the details here.

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UK heatwave: Millions will see bin collection times change due to extreme weather

Millions of people in England and Wales could see a change to their usual time for collecting bins following this week’s scorching heatwave.

Collection crews have been instructed by councils to start their shifts earlier to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun at the hottest time of day.

The government has warned that the heat wave is straining the NHS to a degree not usually seen outside the winter months, and the UK Health Safety Agency has issued an extreme heat warning in England this week.

Learn more by Andy Gregoire here.

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Will the UK hit 40C next week?

Next week promises scorching temperatures, but will they be record high?

If the mercury rises above 40C, it will be the hottest temperature on record in the UK, according to the Met Office.

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How hot does it have to be to legally leave work?

The British summer is long overdue after our long cold winters, and yet we never seem to be properly prepared for the inevitable heatwave (or heatwaves if we’re lucky).

Temperatures can reach up to 34°C in some parts of the country, but what should the temperature be before workers are sent home by their employers?

Here’s everything you need to know:

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Highs of 26C in the south today

Thursday will see highs of 26C in the south as temperatures stabilize ahead of a scorching weekend.

The further north you go, the cooler it will be as temperatures hover between the mid to late teens in Scotland.

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A cooler Thursday

Thursday morning is cooler as the temperature has dropped slightly, providing a well deserved respite from the high heat we have been experiencing this week.