Mild weather is confusing Mother Nature

Daffodils are already in bloom in late December in Derby Square gardens, Douglas

Daffodils are already in bloom in late December in Derby Square gardens, Douglas

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This picture was taken by our photographer Dave Kneale on Monday in Derby Square, Douglas, showing daffodils blooming early.

The flowers usually bloom in spring but the milder weather has led to it happening earlier.

A Ramsey Garden Centre spokesman said: ‘It’s not that rare to be honest. The weather is so mild at the moment we haven’t had any frost or frozen ground to slow the growing process down.

‘Some of our narcissus have been flowering since late November and we plant them for Christmas.

‘It’s just a natural process of them thinking it’s spring. Some places in England have had daffodils flowering since early December. Enjoy them they’re beautiful.’

Judy Matthews, from the Isle of Man Flower Festival committee, said: ‘I’m not an expert on this but I do know that daffodils seem to be in bloom all over the place this year, as a result of the long warm autumn and early winter.

‘Nature seems to have been fooled in many ways, as the Manx Hedgehog Conservation Society told us that the hedgehogs have been confused by the warm weather and have bred again, resulting in small hedgehogs who have not had the opportunity to build up sufficient resources to enable them to hibernate safely.

‘At least the daffodils will not have this problem!’

Sandy Huyton from the Manx Hedgehog Conservation Society said: ‘We have found that some hedgehogs haven’t hibernated through, They have been confused by the weather and woken up and the females have gone back into breeding after we had an Indian summer in September.

‘It is extremely worrying because if a deep frost comes they could get hypothermia.

‘We have six in foster care at the moment looking after underweight hedgehogs. Once they are all well enough we’ll be getting them together to release them back into to the wild.

‘We only set up the charity in May 2015 but we’ve had such an influx of people getting in touch.

‘All we can do is monitor the hedgehogs’ habits and engage with the public through education and awareness to find out how we can help in the best way.

‘Our Facebook page has almost 900 likes and there is a waiting list to become a foster carer so the engagement of the public has been great, a lot of lives have been saved. We’ll be looking to do more in the New Year.’

A Met Office spokesman at Ronaldsway Airport said: ‘December has indeed been significantly milder than average.

‘The long-term average daily maximum is around 9°C, but this year we’ve regularly seen temperatures of around 12°C, and a couple of days with 13°C.

‘Overnight minima have also been much higher than normal, and significantly for daffodils, the soil temperature is still up at 9°C at 30cm depth.

‘December is likely to be a record-breaker.’

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