Heather's Monthly Articles

Britain's Heatwave, part 2

August 2018

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Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire

England’s green and pleasant land won’t be that much longer if the heatwave the country is currently experiencing continues. One good thing that’s come out of the drought though, is it has provided a treasure trove for archeologists.

All over the country, the scorched fields and meadows have been revealing outlines of stone-age forts, Celtic settlements and Roman farms. Many of which were previously unknown to archeologists.

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Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire and the crop marks,
showing the outline of its old Victorian garden.


Wales seems to have produced a bumper crop, with the discovery of an early medieval cemetery, a Roman Villa and a prehistoric farm. Even non-archeologists have been able to get in on the act as the dry weather is turning up Bronze Age burial grounds, and previously forgotten second world war air raid shelters.

With rain in the forecast though, aerialists are frantically taking to the skies in planes or using drones to capture the outlines of the remnants of the past before they get erased.

The big reveals appear to cover numerous periods in history. The Victorian-age garden at a Downton Abbeyesque estate in Lancashire, for instance, that was removed when the Hall was renovated in the 1940s, has now reappeared, or its outline has.

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Gawthorpe Hall’s garden before it was removed
in the 1940s.


Meanwhile, showing up in the yellowing fields of Hampshire are the outlines of an old airfield and in Ciastor, Norfolk, aerialists are being treated to the sight of remnants of a Roman town.

Pretty soon though forecasters are predicting that England’s in for a downpour, which will put a stop to the drought conditions and the hidden landscapes will once again vanish into thin air. Forecasters are also predicting that the UK is in for their hottest Autumn in 38 years.

The cavalry is coming though, in the form of the UK government who last month published its updated strategy for ‘tackling the impacts of climate change, including higher temperatures, drought, and flooding’. Well, they’ve got to do something to take their mind off Brexit.

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