DALES VIEW: Wet, wet, wet

Flooding near Hawes. Photo: Bez Beresford/North Yorkshire Weather Updates.

It’s not stopped bloody raining since Christmas. That’s what it seems like anyway.

Stupidly, we used to think of climate change as something our kids would have to deal with, but you don’t have to be Wincey Willis (no relation) to realise we’re living it now.

Wetter winters are here to stay. The winters of 2014, 2016 and 2020 are all in the top five wettest since records began. I’ll eat my umbrella if this doesn’t turn out to be the wettest yet.

It’s been so mild too. Remember when freezing temperatures meant the ground would be rock solid for weeks. Now, it’s just squelchy.

I do wonder if people living in large town and cities realise just how different the weather is these days. If you spend your days surrounded by concrete and tarmac, you might not be as aware of all the water and wind we’re seeing these days.

The A684 has been blocked by flooding at Worton and Wensley so many times this year, the local firefighters barely have time to stick the kettle on between jobs rescuing muppet motorists who thought their Vauxhall Astra had been modified by Q.

It’s depressing to think this might be the new norm.

What is does mean however is that you really appreciate the rare days when the sun is shining. We took the dogs for a walk along the old station track from Richmond to Easby Abbey on a bright Sunday recently and everyone we saw appeared uplifted by the blue sky. Everyone was so chatty and gay, it felt very convivial, like we were promenading through a well-groomed park in Georgian London rather than trying to dodge the dog poo on a muddy footpath in Yorkshire.

Our lawn has taken a hammering from all the rain. Thanks to kids and dogs who insist on still using it despite the conditions, it’s started to resemble the Glastonbury Festival on a wet year, albeit with fewer, but not necessarily no, spaced out teenagers listening to music and trying to cop off with each other.


  1. Wonderful to read, well done – but sadly – very true. Doubtless more to come! 😢

  2. You’re on top form today, Joe!
    Anyway it’s jolly good for the Bainbridge hydro scheme.

  3. So true unfortunately! Praise to those who are trying to reduce their carbon footprint, or who are doing their bit in carbon sequestration in the Dales (such as planting trees in the right places, which will help slow water run off). It’s a mammoth task!

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