Record heat closes schools and cancels football matches in Surrey and Hampshire

Tuesday 19th July 2022 2:17 pm
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Farnham town centre has been very quiet on both Monday and Tuesday as people avoid the record hot weather
Farnham town centre has been very quiet on both Monday and Tuesday as people avoid the record hot weather (Daniel Gee / Farnham Herald )

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Record-breaking temperatures in Surrey and Hampshire have led to school closures on Monday and Tuesday this week.

The Petersfield School and Bohunt School in Liphook both made the decision to shut their doors on Monday and Tuesday while temperatures soar above 35 degrees. Eggar’s School in Alton has also decided to close after midday on both days.

Many schools in the area remain open, but are allowing parents to make their own decision on whether they will send their children in.

Other schools are allowing changes to the school uniform, such as an exemption from wearing blazers and allowing pupils to wear shorts.

Most children are breaking up for the summer holidays on July 21 and 22, but for the remaining days they are being advised to bring hats, plenty water and sun cream with them into school.

At 11.51am on Tuesday, it was reported that Charlwood near Gatwick Airport in Surrey saw the hottest temperature in the UK on record, at 39.1C according to provisional Met Office figures. This broke the 2019 record of 38.7C recorded in Cambridge.

But at 12.50pm the Met Office recorded that Heathrow had broken the UK record again with a measurement of 40.2C.

Alongside schools, other disruptions in the Surrey area have resulted from the extreme heat.

South Western Railway (SWR) has issued a statement to travellers to only travel if absolutely necessary.

On Monday and Tuesday, SWR ran a reduced service and those trains that were still running have speed restrictions in place. The temperature of the rail can be up to 20C higher than the surrounding area, which can cause them to buckle.

Tickets bought for Monday and Tuesday can be transferred to Wednesday and Thursday this week, the rail operator said.

Surrey County Council has stated it has highway teams on standby with a supply of grit and repairs if the highways start to melt.

East Hampshire District Council has also said that on Monday and Tuesday bin collectors will be arriving earlier than usual, from 6am, to avoid the morning heat.

Waverley Borough Council has also asked people not to visit Frensham Great Ponds and Common in the extreme weather, not only to keep people safe, but also to reduce crowding and the amount of litter and leftover barbecues that will result from this.

This statement has been issued earlier in the week, after the council had to clear 79 bags of litter from their sites. Litter is a danger to the local wildlife and creates heavy work for council staff during the extreme weather.

South East Water has also issued a warning regarding water supplies, asking people to use water wisely as a waste in water could result in shortages.

Energy infrastructure provider SSEN has reassured customers that they are ready to restore electricity in the event of power cuts, especially for households with vulnerable occupants.

The NHS has asked the public nationwide to be responsible in the record-breaking heat and to follow the NHS guidelines to avoid putting them further under pressure.

Local sporting events have been affected by the unprecedented weather. Farnham Town FC have cancelled their match on Tuesday against Westfield FC. Badshot Lea FC have also cancelled their Tuesday match against Alford FC. However, the match between Alton FC and Fleet Spurs on Tuesday evening is still going ahead.

While a lot of people will be affected in many different ways by the extreme weather, pets must not be forgotten.

Local Farnham vets Cathcart and Winn has issued some tips to look after your pets.

Dehydration and heatstroke symptoms such as pale gums, bright red tounges and excessive panting need to be looked out for in animals.

They also ask for people not to walk their dogs on hot pavements and artificial grass and try to only go on walks in the cooler hours of the day.

Pets must also not be left in cars as this can prove seriously dangerous.

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