The deluge of rain hitting the UK
over the last few months has been "almost apocalyptic" for some wildlife in 2012, according to the National Trust.
The terrible weather conditions in Britain
have left bees, bats, birds, butterflies and wildflowers struggling to survive.
According to the BBC
, the breeding season has been described as "catastrophic" with sea birds being blown off cliffs by strong winds, and garden birds unable to provide food for their chicks.
The wet weather has devastated puffin colonies on the Farne Islands - managed by the National Trust - with 90 per cent of burrow on Brownsman Island lost, and around half of puffins drowning in floods on other islands.
Thanks to the downpours, many bats have not been able to fund enough insects to feed their pups.
Th only things that are thriving in this weather are slugs and snails, while midges and mosquitos are breeding faster in puddles left by rain.
According to the Telegraph
, Matthew Oates, the National Trust's conservation adviser, said the UK desperately needs a sunshine boost - not just to help wildlife but to boost tourism during the Olympics.
"He said: This is turning out to be an almost apocalyptic summer for most of our much-loved wildlife – birds, butterflies, bees.
"So much so that the prospects for many of these in 2013 are bleak.
"Our wildlife desperately needs some sustained sunshine, particularly beneficial insects.
"Surely the Olympic three weeks will generate a wonderful heatwave – because we will all be glued to our TV sets?"
Mr Oates even warned the wet weather could lead to local extinctions of rare or isolated species, including butterflies.
According to the BBC
, he added: "Insects have also been in decline after two years of poor weather, and a better summer next year is important to rebuild populations.
"We desperately need the sun on our backs."
However, the weather forecast is rather bleak, predicting unsettled conditions for the rest of the month.
Time to make a great escape? Try one of these top beach destinations for 2012:
- 9. Corralejo, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
Corralejo,the largest of Fuerteventura's resorts, is a beach lover's dream. Town Beach is singled out by Tripadvisor reviewers as a perfect spot for families because of its calm waters, while breezier Flag Beach and Glass Beach are a 'paradise' for windsurfers and kitesurfers.</p>
- 8. Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria
The largest resort on Gran Canaria was developed in the Sixties specifically as a tourist area and it's remained popular ever since. There's something for everyone, from families to honeymooners, nude sunbathers, to hippies... and it gets the thumbs up from all.</p>
- 7. Antalya, Turkey
This is the fastest growing city in Turkey, not least because of its booming tourism industry. Tourists from around the world are drawn here for the fab beaches as well as the traditional Turkish culture. Konyaalti Beach is described as 'heaven on earth' by one reviewer. The only complaint seems to be that the sea is a "little bit salty". Hmm...</p>
- 6. Albuferia, Algarve, Portugal
With 20 different beaches to choose from, Albufeira is praised as a "charming" holiday destination. The cliffs are magnificent, the outlook wonderful and Falesia Beach is singled out in particular: "straight out of a film" says one reviewer.</p>
- 5. Benidorm, Spain
Yes, it's still up there as one of the favourites for Brits. The beaches surrounding this holiday mecca are bustling with activities including waterskiing and scuba diving. Levante Beach is praised for its cleanliness, while reviewers recommend Poniente Beach for a calmer alternative to the buzzing Benidorm atmosphere.</p>
- 4. Bournemouth, England
Seven miles of beach and its own warm microclimate make Bournemouth the UK's favourite beach destination, according to Tripadvisor reviewers, who praise it for its stunning cleanliness and "amazing views", although one complained that it was "too far away from the shops". </p>
- 3. Puerto Alcudia, Majorca
With velvety white stretches of sand along five miles of gentle waters, Puerto Alcudia is the longest beach on the island. Reviewers say the gem of the beach at Aucanada is great for families, and one of the most beautiful parts of the resort, although it can get crowded: "Bring your own sunbed" says one. </p>
- 2. Icmeler, Turkey
The lack of a booming nightclub scene is a huge plus for the travellers who've discovered this beach resort. Boat trips, great seafood cafes and "quiet and relaxing" atmosphere are among the reasons they return here, but one reviewer advises getting to the beach early in peak season in order to get a bed by the sea - and they recommend bartering for the price.</p>
- 1. Olu Deniz, Turkey
The waters surrounding the small village of Olu Deniz, including the famous Blue Lagoon, are a beautiful gradient of sapphire blue, and the beach is described by Tripadvisor reviewers as "simply stunning", with a spectacular setting. Reviewers say it gets overcrowded in peak season and can also be pricey: many recommend the local beaches nearer the town for more space.</p>
- 10. Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Lanzarote's largest resort area offers some of the island's best beaches, with calm waters all year round. The coast is a succession of lovely sandy stretches interspersed with small rocky outcroppings, including the little cove of Pena Grande, with fine white sand.</p>
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