Sunworshippers face burning in maximum UV strength rays


Britons were on high alert for sunburn today with the absence of aircraft in the skies set to give the country its highest levels of ultraviolet radiation on what will be the second consecutive hottest day of the year.

The Met Office said UV rays, which can increase the risk of skin cancer, could reach nine in Devon and Cornwall today, which is ‘about as high as it gets really in the UK’ and are more commonly seen in the Mediterranean.

Temperatures could hit 93F (34C) in Wales and London today with thousands of sun-seekers expecting to pack parks and coastlines again, after the mercury got up to 90.7F (32.6C) in the capital yesterday. Some people were so eager to get a good spot in Bournemouth this morning that they camped overnight on the beach.

More public toilets are also now opening, with up to 3,000 now available for use according to the Lockdown Loo website, including 15 in Brighton and Hove, seven in Bournemouth, six in Eastbourne and six in Blackpool. 

But the good weather is due to change tonight as thunderstorms form across the west of the UK, with up to 1.6 inches of rain set to fall in two hours from 4pm along with lightning, hail, strong winds and possible power cuts.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said: ‘The sun is as strong as it gets at the moment because we’re so close to the solstice. We’ve got peak sun strength, clear skies, plenty of sunshine – it’s the perfect ingredients for high UV.’

Among the main reasons for high UV levels given by experts are a hole in the ozone layer that opened earlier this year, and the time of year so near the solstice combined with limited cloud cover and water vapour.

But Michaela Hegglin, a professor in atmospheric chemistry at the University of Reading, added that it was also down to a lack of plane contrails, which normally create clouds reflecting UV rays away from the ground.

Tents on the Bournemouth beach this morning as people camped overnight on the Dorset coast for the best spot today

Temperatures are expected to hit 33C or 34C in Britain today

It comes after the hottest day of the year so far yesterday

Temperatures are expected to hit 33C or 34C in Britain today (left) after the hottest day of the year so far yesterday (right)

But the expert told the Daily Telegraph that the negative impacts of UV levels were massively outweighed weighed by the positive impacts of lower levels of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions during the coronavirus crisis.

She said today could see some of the ‘highest UV levels ever recorded’ in Britain, adding: ‘This is because of a combination of factors. We are at the summer solstice, when the sun is almost directly overhead at 1pm.

‘UV levels this high are rare in the UK, so people with light skin should be very careful to avoid getting burnt. While UV is important for getting vitamin D and keeping us healthy, too much of it can cause skin cancer or cataracts.’

Ozone holes are an annual thinning of the ozone layer over Antarctica, caused by stratospheric chlorine. Every year ozone layers fall drastically during the Southern Hemisphere’s spring and the Arctic can be affected too.

Experts think this started happening in the 1970s as a result of the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were popularly found in aerosols. The hole forms in the Antarctic when cold air is trapped by strong circulating winds.

This leads to the formation of ice clouds, which break down chlorine-containing compounds. It makes the area especially susceptible to ozone depletion, but ozone from other areas returns over the affected poles every year.

Stunned officials in Bournemouth today slammed 'vile idiots' who left 12 tonnes of litter strewn across the resort's beaches

Stunned officials in Bournemouth today slammed ‘vile idiots’ who left 12 tonnes of litter strewn across the resort’s beaches

Officials in Bournemouth blamed a 'breakdown in decent, civic behaviour' for the appalling mass of rubbish left behind

Officials in Bournemouth blamed a ‘breakdown in decent, civic behaviour’ for the appalling mass of rubbish left behind

Shocking pictures were taken at 4.30am today before the council's cleaning team arrived to clear the mess in Bournemouth

Shocking pictures were taken at 4.30am today before the council’s cleaning team arrived to clear the mess in Bournemouth

The sun rises at Blyth in Northumberland as Britain sweats through a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb further

The sun rises at Blyth in Northumberland as Britain sweats through a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb further

Temperatures reached their peak yesterday at London’s Heathrow Airport at 2.46pm, making it the hottest day of the year so far, beating the previous record on May 29 when Dawyck in the Scottish Borders got up to 84F (28.9C).

Police break up huge party on Brighton seafront with hundreds of youngsters sent home from the beach after scuffles broke out

Police broke up a huge Brighton seafront party last night and sent hundreds of youngsters home after scuffles broke out. 

Ten police vehicles were called to Hove Lawns, West Sussex at 8.40pm yesterday amid reports of ‘pockets’ of violence in the gathering. 

The youths chanted at the officers, with one eyewitness calling it ‘like a stand-off between hundreds of youths and police’. 

Police break up an impromptu beach party where hundreds of predominantly young adults and teenagers on Hove Lawn this evening on the hottest day of the year so far

Police break up an impromptu beach party where hundreds of predominantly young adults and teenagers on Hove Lawn this evening on the hottest day of the year so far

Locals believe the youngsters ‘would have finished GCSEs and (had) their end-of-year prom’. One resident called the situation ‘pure mayhem’.  Officers issued a dispersal order for the green near Grand Avenue.

Councillor Chris Henry said: ‘Let’s not leave our young people behind in the Covid recovery plans.

Police break up an impromptu beach party where hundreds of predominantly young adults and teenagers on Hove Lawn this evening on the hottest day of the year so far

Police break up an impromptu beach party where hundreds of predominantly young adults and teenagers on Hove Lawn this evening on the hottest day of the year so far

‘It’s understandable that they’re bored and missing their friends, so we need to ensure their safety and develop activities for young adults so that police and the local community can focus on real crime and staying safe from Covid.

‘Hove Lawns tonight shows how badly solutions for young people are needed and how youth services are needed more than ever.’  

Met Office meteorologist John Griffiths said there was a ‘low chance’ that the Welsh Marches – the area along the Welsh border – could see temperatures of 34C (93.2F) ‘very locally’.

Should that happen, it would be the hottest June on record in Wales, surpassing the previous peak of 92.7F (33.7C) on June 18, 2000. The UK June record was set on June 28, 1976, when Southampton hit 96.1F (35.6C).

The public has been reminded to take care around water throughout the summer, amid concerns people might be tempted to take a dip to cool down.

It comes as Thames Valley Police said yesterday evening that they had found a body following a search for a missing man at Lulle Brooke in Cookham, Berkshire.

The man, who was in his 30s, was understood to have got into difficulty in the water on Tuesday evening.

Thunderstorms are forecast to form in the south west and south east of England, Wales, western Scotland and Northern Ireland from 4pm today.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather alert for those areas until 9am tomorrow, warning of disruption due to flooding, lightning strikes, hail and wind.

The storms are expected to continue from midday on Friday through to 6am on Saturday, with another yellow warning in place for the whole of the UK.

Areas hit by the storms could experience ‘torrential downpours’ with up to 2in (50mm) of rain falling in an hour.

Yesterday’s good weather saw people flock to beaches in huge numbers despite social distancing measures remaining in place.

The Met Office raised its heat alert level to three, as health authorities encouraged those most vulnerable – many of whom have been shielding during lockdown – to protect themselves amid the ‘exceptionally hot weather forecast this week’.

Public Health England (PHE) said older people, those with underlying health conditions, and very young children were all more at risk from the higher temperatures.

The amber level three, which remains in place for the West and East Midlands, requires social and healthcare services to target specific actions at high-risk groups, according to the Met Office website.

People have been advised to keep cool and stay hydrated where possible.

The Met Office said UV levels were expected to remain at eight across many parts of the UK today.

Emer O’Connell, consultant in public health at PHE, said it was important that people kept checking on the vulnerable, as many continued to spend more time at home due to coronavirus.

‘You will need to do things differently this year, for example keeping in touch by phone,’ she said.

Shoppers have also been advised to be aware they could be forced to spend extra time in the sun as a result of social distancing measures.

And dog owners have been urged to avoid exercising their pets during the hottest part of the day.

Vets Now, a provider of emergency veterinary care, warned that the average survival rate of a dog diagnosed with heatstroke was 50 per cent.

The RSPCA said it had received 330 calls in regard to animal welfare and the hot weather since March 23, adding it was expecting ‘hundreds more’ as temperatures increase this week.

People enjoy the water at Warleigh Weir on the River Avon near Bath in Somerset yesterday as temperatures soar

People enjoy the water at Warleigh Weir on the River Avon near Bath in Somerset yesterday as temperatures soar

A packed Bournemouth beach yesterday afternoon after the heatwave brought thousands of people out to the seaside

A packed Bournemouth beach yesterday afternoon after the heatwave brought thousands of people out to the seaside

Sunseekers don bikinis and swim shorts as they take a dip in the river at Hackney Marshes in East London yesterday

Sunseekers don bikinis and swim shorts as they take a dip in the river at Hackney Marshes in East London yesterday

Beaches in Brighton were packed yesterday as Britain enjoyed a mini-heatwave with temperatures expected to soar again

Beaches in Brighton were packed yesterday as Britain enjoyed a mini-heatwave with temperatures expected to soar again

Families carry their beach equipment and picnics with them as they head to the beach at Durdle Door in Dorset yesterday

Families carry their beach equipment and picnics with them as they head to the beach at Durdle Door in Dorset yesterday

London Fire Brigade has warned people not to have barbecues on dry grass, not to drop cigarettes or matches, and not to leave rubbish such as glass bottles lying around amid a risk they could start fires. 

Boy, 10, dies after getting into difficulty in Scottish loch amid frantic search by emergency services

A boy has died after getting into difficulty in a Scottish loch amid a frantic search by emergency services.

The ten-year-old passed away at Loch Lubnaig near Callander in Stirlingshire yesterday. The child was reported as having ‘difficulty in the water’ at 5.35pm after he reportedly fell into a river near the loch.

A four-hour rescue operation involving a helicopter was launched. Police said the incident was not suspicious. 

A spokesman said: ‘A ten-year-old boy has died following an incident in Loch Lubnaig, near Callander, on June 24.

‘Emergency services were called around 5:35pm to reports of a child experiencing difficulty in the water. Sadly, the boy died. There are no suspicious circumstances and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.’   

Meanwhile stunned officials in Bournemouth today slammed ‘vile idiots’ who left 12 tonnes of litter strewn across the resort’s beaches following the hottest day of the year.

They blamed a ‘breakdown in decent, civic behaviour’ for the appalling mass of rubbish left behind by over 100,000 visitors – and volunteer litter pickers found many of the public bins were still half empty.

Shocking pictures taken at 4.30am this morning before the local council’s beach cleaning team arrived to clear the mess have sparked fury on social media.

Vikki Slade, the leader of Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council, said: ‘It doesn’t matter what we do, these vile idiots will ignore the rules. The disgusting mess left on our beaches makes me want to weep.

‘People urinating within sight of loos, parking illegally and just accepting the fine and ignoring the message of don’t come to Dorset is a breakdown of civic behaviour.’

One of the litter pickers on the beach was Peter Ryan, 61, who founded the community group Dorset Devils.

He said: ‘It is sad, disappointing and disgusting to see the beach in such a state. It is the jewel in the crown of the area and it does not deserve to be treated like this.

‘There were so many empty beer bottles, vodka bottles and cans of all varieties left on the sand, even though some of the bins on the pier were half empty. They’ve shown no care whatsoever for this beautiful environment.’ 

It’s ‘Weston-super-Mud’! Tourists are spotted stuck in mud flats trying to reach the water in Somerset town

Tourists were spotted stuck in mud flats trying to reach the water in a seaside town – dubbed ‘Weston-super-Mud’.

One onlooker said more than 100 people had made their way to the water during low tide in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. With temperatures hitting the 90Fs, some people headed for a dip – but a large group got stuck in mud.

Pictures show members of the local coastguard trying to help as the revellers tried to go for a paddle. A Weston-Super-Mare Coastguard Rescue Team spokesman confirmed they were called to the scene.

One witness said: ‘There was over 100 people seen making their way across the mud to reach the sea. Some were carrying children and were observed struggling to get back to the shore.’ 

Tourists were spotted stuck in mud flats trying to reach the water in a seaside town - dubbed 'Weston-super-Mud'.

Tourists were spotted stuck in mud flats trying to reach the water in a seaside town – dubbed ‘Weston-super-Mud’. 

One onlooker said more than 100 people had made their way to the water during low tide in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset

One onlooker said more than 100 people had made their way to the water during low tide in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset

With temperatures hitting 90F highs yesterday, some people in Somerset headed for a dip - but a large group got stuck in mud

With temperatures hitting 90F highs yesterday, some people in Somerset headed for a dip – but a large group got stuck in mud

Gardeners work to get picturesque walled gardens looking like a sea of colour before visitors are welcomed back

Gardeners have worked round the clock to get walled gardens designed by Sir Walter Scott looking like a sea of colour, before visitors are welcomed back.

Scott, who is considered to have popularised tartan and invented the historical novel, lived at Abbotsford House near Galashiels in the Scottish Borders, where he died in 1832.

He also designed the walled gardens, wanting them to be ‘intimate’ and connected to the house, which was built in Baronial style as a ‘castle in miniature’.

Tim Owen, head gardener of Abbotsford House, once home of Sir Walter Scott in the Scottish Borders, works in the garden

Tim Owen, head gardener of Abbotsford House, once home of Sir Walter Scott in the Scottish Borders, works in the garden

The walled gardens, which would have been used as kitchen gardens during Scott's lifetime, are now a sea of colour

The walled gardens, which would have been used as kitchen gardens during Scott’s lifetime, are now a sea of colour

The gardens will reopen to the public on July 1 – having had just two people looking after them, although locals have been able to wander around the estate including the banks of the River Tweed.

The walled gardens, which would have been used as kitchen gardens during Scott’s lifetime, are a sea of colour having been lovingly maintained during the lockdown.

And this week, 15 volunteers were thrilled to be allowed back to tend to rose beds and apple trees. Entry is usually ticketed but that is being waived and a donation is being asked for.

Head gardener Tim Owen said: ‘We have been keeping things going as well as possible. The intention was to keep the garden going for people, as it would be as if people were coming in. Our main focus was on the walled garden.

‘In other areas we would go round and check the estate. We have got three miles of woodland paths for all abilities, and where the lockdown has eased we have seen families out and about.

Mr Owen, 54, said: 'Everybody that's involved loves the place. It has given volunteers a boost being allowed to come back'

Mr Owen, 54, said: ‘Everybody that’s involved loves the place. It has given volunteers a boost being allowed to come back’

The gardens in the Scottish Borders will reopen to the public on July 1 - having had just two people looking after them

The gardens in the Scottish Borders will reopen to the public on July 1 – having had just two people looking after them

‘The walled gardens, in Scott’s time, were kitchen gardens. We have got vegetables, fruit, apple trees and pear trees. We try to plant it to keep it going until the end of November.’

The walled gardens already have a one-way system in place and will be open to visitors on a donations basis. Signs will be put up reminding people to keep a physical distance.

Mr Owen, 54, added: ‘Everybody that’s involved loves the place. It has given volunteers a boost being allowed to come back.’

Entry is usually ticketed but since the five-metre mile travel restriction has been in place, the estate has been open to visitors.

Losses have racked up to £350,000 with no visitors coming in – and the gardens had only been opened for a couple of weeks before it had to close.

But the National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded £224,200 to pay for day to day costs.

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