photo by Jim Barton (Fellwalker on Flickr CC)

Dry weather in much of England is threatening to devastate farming and wildlife, and could extend past next Christmas.

Parts of England have entered official drought status, with water rationing measures in place. Soils are so dried out that recent rains did little to help conditions.

This may sound like strange weather in a country known for rain rather than droughts, especially in April, but the dangers are all too real.

Helen Vale, national drought coordinator at the Environment Agency is quoted in the Guardian:

The amount of water that we use at home and in our businesses has a direct effect on the amount of water available in the environment, for wildlife and for farmers, so we would urge everyone to start using less water now, whether or not they live in an area with a hosepipe ban.

Average citizens are likely to also be affected by price hikes for certain foods and beverages, namely domestically grown soft fruits and vegetables as well as beer produced in the UK.
(Now I’m sensing panic.)

But inconveniences for humans are nothing compared to what England’s wildlife is going through.

From the BBC:

The Wildlife Trusts says prolonged drought not only reduces drinking and bathing water for birds, but makes it harder for birds, small mammals, amphibians and reptiles that feed on insects and worms.

17 counties in England have been declared official drought zones by the Environment Agency, but everyone around the country is being encouraged to save water.

Read more in the Independent and in this article by the UK Press Association.