Wildlife suffering in the heat

IT is not just humans who are struggling in the sweltering summer sunshine - the county's diverse wildlife population is also feeling the heat as Suffolk sizzles.

IT is not just humans who are struggling in the sweltering summer sunshine - the county's diverse wildlife population is also feeling the heat as Suffolk sizzles.

And with forecasters predicting yet more searing temperatures, the heatwave will continue to affect our feathered and furry friends.

Ipswich Borough Council park ranger Peter Scotcher said the biggest problem was the lack of water thanks to a lengthy run without any substantial rain.

He said: “The ground is very dry at the moment. A lot of the plants in our parks are wilting and everything is struggling for water.

“Because of this, there is not as much food for some of our wildlife. Moles, hedgehogs, slugs and snails are particularly vulnerable.

“The slugs and snails will be finding themselves somewhere secluded and dark where they can wait until it's wetter. That's great news for gardeners but it's bad for the animals whose food is slugs and snails.”

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Mr Scotcher appealed to residents to leave water out for birds and hedgehogs to help them combat the drought-like conditions.

Last week, Suffolk was hotter than Cairo in Egypt when the stifling sun scorched the county with highs of 31C.

And weather experts have predicted that the mercury could again be in the 30s today and tomorrow, before the heat reduces slightly towards the end of the week with the threat of thundery showers.

However, some of the prominent wildlife found in Suffolk is actually basking in the unusual temperatures.

Mr Scotcher said the species in the region which were at the northern extent of their range in Europe would feel perfectly at home in the high 20s and 30s.

“It all depends on their food,” he said. “It's swings and roundabouts. A lot of animals and plants are adapted to these sorts of conditions.

“For example, some of our birds will be having a field day.

“The Bee Wolf, a type of wasp, is an example of a insect which likes hot temperatures as is the Painted Lady butterfly, which actually originates from North Africa.”

Have you noticed Suffolk's wildlife struggling in the sun? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblink: www.ipswich.gov.uk

See edblog at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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