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Adjusting to wetter summers
It has, by anyone’s estimation, been something of a rubbish summer.
With the wettest June for years and July not being much better so far, it is unsurprising that many events have been declared a wash-out. Unsurprising, but also very frustrating for those who have put in months of work to stage community events such as agricultural shows, galas and festivals, and been forced to cancel due to heavy rain not only threatening to keep people away but also making the sites unsafe for large numbers of people.
Alas, it seems that it is something we are going to have to get used to. Those of a certain age will remember the long, hot, glorious summers of the 1970s. The pattern now, according to meteorologists, is that we are likely to face much milder and wetter summers in the coming years.
What that means is that we might have to rethink what we consider to be traditional summer events. The chairman of the Airedale Agricultural Society, which organises the cancelled Bingley Show, is complaining that the event might have gone ahead had Bradford Council put more money into drainage and levelling of the Myrtle Park venue.
The Council, like the rest of us, can perhaps be forgiven for not anticipating the sheer volume of rainfall we have been subjected to in recent weeks. But Leslie Gore’s comments do raise the issue of all our general preparedness for what seems to be a shift in our climate.
Perhaps the authorities do need to take a long, hard look at what systems are in place for coping with heavy, persistent rainfall at all municipal sites if future summers are not going to be as miserable as this one.