Forget presents and turkey, we’re all more likely than ever to be mowing our lawns this Christmas.
That’s according to the Woodland Trust.The charity has been recording signs of seasonal activity in a Nature’s Calendar study since 2000, one of which is the last date people mow their lawn in winter.
And they have found a huge difference in the number of lawns mown in December, with nearly four times as many in a warm year. And with the average temperature for the first half of December this year 3.2°C above the average, many lawns are likely to be cut. Over the last 50 years the average temperature in November has risen by 1.7°C.
Dr Kate Lewthwaite, Woodland Trust citizen science manager, said: “It may seem strange but recording the last time people mow their lawn each year provides a valuable insight into climate change. Nature’s Calendar records suggest it has become much more common to do so in December so it’s entirely possible Santa will need to get the lawnmower out once he’s delivered all his presents.”
So far this year the charity has records of lawns being cut in December in places as far afield as Exeter, Macclesfield and Cockermouth.
In December 2010, when Central England Temperature averaged -0.7°C, only 6% of recorders cut their grass in December. In contrast, in December 2014, when the CET averaged 5.2°C, 20% of recorders cut their grass in December. Over the last 13 years of records, the average has been 15%.
There is also, of course, considerable regional variation in these figures. In Scotland, no recorders cut their grass in December in either year. While in the South West of England, 9% of recorders cut their grass in December 2010, with an increase to 37% in December 2014.
To find out more about Nature’s Calendar or record if you cut your lawn over Christmas visit www.naturescalendar.org.uk