Hottest on record is becoming old news, we must tackle climate change in Kent before it is too late - Kent Wildlife Trust

Deadly wildfires, raging storms and soaring temperatures are becoming increasingly common across the globe. Coupled with the recent news that Earth may have already exceeded a 1.5c warming and is set to pass 2°c by the end of the decade, Kent Wildlife Trust warns now is the time for action as we head towards a general election.

Drone Footage Ham Fen (Image: Kent Wildlife Trust)
Drone Footage Ham Fen (Image: Kent Wildlife Trust)

In the UK, Kent will be one of the first counties to experience soaring temperatures and must set an example to the rest of the country, demonstrating the importance of climate-resilient landscapes. Kent Wildlife Trust , as a leader in the field of embracing innovative solutions to the biodiversity and climate crises - such as the Ham Fen beaver project and the Wilder Blean Initiative - are driving change across reserves and encouraging others to adapt to the challenges posed by the increasing temperatures and extreme weather.

What will happen in Kent?

In short, our summers are getting hotter and drier and our winters warmer and wetter.

The State of Nature in Kent Report says that UK Climate Projections have identified that for Kent and Medway, hotter summers are likely, with an increase in average summer temperature of 2-3°C by 2040, and a further predicted rise of 5-6°c by 2080. The report also states that winter temperatures will rise by 1-2°C by 2040 and 3-4°C by 2080.

We are already experiencing hotter, drier summers and it is predicted summers will have a reduction in average precipitation of 20-30% by 2040 and 30-50% by 2080. Wetter winters with an increase in average precipitation of 10-20% by 2040 and 20-30% by 2080.

As well as winters becoming wetter overall, the intensity of rainfall is also projected to increase by as much as 25% in southeast England (UK Climate Risk, 2021).

Kent Wildlife Trust’s Charlotte Lewis says: “Sadly this news is not a surprise, we can see the impact of weather changes on the habitats across our reserves. As the sea level rises, we experience coastal erosion and both changes and loss of species in the county. The increased rainfall followed by drought degrades soils and causes long-term damage to the ecosystems. These are changes that are happening now, and urgent action is needed.”

What is Kent Wildlife Trust doing about climate change?

The trust champions natural management techniques as much as possible to ensure our reserves are more connected across the landscape. We work to diversify and expand the distribution of species, cultivate a mosaic of habitats, and implement management strategies to mitigate the disruptive environmental fluctuations that climate change brings.

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Posted On: 08/02/2024

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