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Friday, June 22nd 2012, 7:40 AM EDT
FLAMING June looks set to break records in north Northumberland – as the coolest and one of the wettest Junes of recent years.
The average temperature recorded at Letham Shank, near Berwick, so far this month is a distinctly unimpressive 13C – a whopping 3.6C down on the June average of 16.6C since records began in 1996.
To compound matters, it also looks poised to be one of the wettest on record with 78.1mm having already comfortably beaten the June average of 53.5mm with 10 days still to go and more rain forecast over the next few days.
Fortunately the showpiece Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Olympic Torch relay celebrations somehow managed to avoid the worst of the weather.
Elspeth Gilliland, tourism manager at Ford and Etal Estates, said: “It’s been up and down since the jubilee bank holiday weekend – some good days and some very poor.
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“Heatherslaw Light Railway has lost two or three days since the beginning of the season due to exceptionally bad weather.
“I’d certainly say overall so far this year the very cold and often wet weather has put people off coming out in droves.”
Jeff Sutheran, chairman of the North Northumberland Tourism Association, admitted it had been a disappointing start to the summer but insisted all was not doom and gloom.
He said: “The summer weather certainly has been disappointing so far, which does create a very real problem for many tourism businesses. Despite getting off to a cracking start with a really warm spell of weather in March, this hasn’t continued.
“Some businesses are much more ‘weather dependent’ than others, and it’s these which real-ly do feel the effect of the poor weather. Despite this, some accommodation providers are still reporting healthy numbers of visitors coming through. Even though its been a cold and wet June so far, we’ve not seen the ‘washout’ story in North- umberland which some parts of the country have experienced.
“And of course we have lots of fantastic wet-weather options, great places to visit in the north of the county which we can point guests to when the weather isn’t exactly as we’d like it.”
Mr Sutheran, who runs an award-winning guest house in Seahouses, added: “We also need to remember that it’s not all been complete doom and gloom – witness the fantastic summery scenes as the Olympic torch passed through Bamburgh last week.
“Average rainfall and temperatures are just that – and whilst its disappointing when the summer weather isn’t always beautiful, this is one of the things which gives Northumberland its distinctive wild and rugged nature.
“Northumberland’s weather is one thing we just can’t control – but we need to keep on developing the top-class visitor offerings in the county, so that we continue to attract discerning visitors and offer them plenty to do, whatever the weather!”
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