National Trust to give staff ‘Mediterranean hours’ and siestas amid climate change

Posted: August 25, 2021 by oldbrew in Temperature, weather
Tags: ,

Ham House

That increase in average temperatures of around one degree Celsius since the mid-19th century must be really stressful. It’s probably cheaper to offer siestas than to buy and operate suitable ventilation systems.
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The National Trust is giving its workers Mediterranean-style siestas in summer due to climate change making the weather increasingly hot, reports

Staff and volunteers in the south of England will start the day earlier, finish later, and have a long lunch break to avoid the hottest part of the day, as people already do in countries such as Italy and Spain.

A spokesperson for the charity told The Guardian: “It’s fair to say that, as we experience more extreme temperatures, we will be looking to offer Mediterranean working hours, especially in the east which is likely to experience more frequent higher temperatures to ensure the health and safety of our staff and volunteers.”

Staff in Ham House in Richmond, south London, are already offered the new hours when it is hot. The property was forced to close in August 2019 after temperatures reached more than 40C. [Talkshop comment – presumably indoors as the UK outdoor record is below 40C].

Meanwhile, the charity is also planting trees to provide shade and moving its benches into the shade to protect staff and visitors from extreme heat. In some gardens, staff are planting Mediterranean plants, which can survive drier, hotter conditions.

It is also expected that the peak visiting times will shift to later in the year when it is cooler and easier to go on long walks.

Analysis of visitor data over the last five years found that numbers of tourists increase when temperatures hit 24C, but drops at temperatures over 28C.

This is particularly pronounced for indoor activities, including guided walks around stately homes.

Full report here.

  1. ilma630 says:

    It’s fair to say the National Trust management are losing or have lost the plot. I feel sorry for the volunteers who have to put up with this stuff.

  2. Curious George says:

    The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, commonly known as the National Trust, is a charity and membership organisation for heritage conservation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, there is a separate and independent National Trust for Scotland.

  3. pameladragon says:

    What extreme heat are they experiencing? If it is like that in the UK now, then they don’t need to fly down to the Algarve to get warm!

  4. oldbrew says:

    They may not have much in the way of air con or even simple fans in their mainly old buildings. But that’s not a climate problem, it’s a tech problem.

  5. Gamecock says:

    If National Trust can afford a head of climate and environment, they don’t need any more money.

    Stop giving to them

  6. delta9369 says:

    LOL – Let’s see how that pans out –

  7. oldbrew says:

    They will enjoy their siestas when the next Atlantic depression rolls in 🙄

  8. stpaulchuck says:

    OMG! how did they all survive during the Roman Warm Period when they used to grow grapes in far northern England, a feat they still cannot do as a large agricultural crop. Maybe they used to fertilize the grape vines with the bodies of the hundreds of thousands of heat deaths?? Askin’ for a friend.

  9. Chaswarnertoo says:

    The long march through the institutions is paying off for Common Purpose.

  10. Phoenix44 says:

    They appear deeply confused. It might be “hot” for England but that’s not actually very hot. They are confusing relative to an average with absolutes.

    Dim to say the least.

  11. oldbrew says:

    ‘Climate change’ is bringing max. temperatures of about 19-21C to London in the next 10 days, according to two forecasting sites. No siesta required.
    – – –
    Meanwhile in Scotland…
    Cairngorm funicular: Delays hit reopening plans
    Published 3 hours ago

    HIE had hoped the funicular would be available early next year, but it said Covid, a shortage of materials and blizzards had caused delays.

    It said the planned timescale had now been pushed to the second half of 2022.

    Repairs to the railway near Aviemore started in April this year. [bold added]

  12. RexAlan says:

    Central England Temperature Record

    Highest Maximum Average Yearly Temperature 10.95C(51.71F) 2014

    Highest Minimum Average Yearly Temperature 7.19C (44.94F} 2006

    And they are talking about siestas, they have to be kidding surely.

  13. Zaden Zane says:

    Siestas? I heard they’re going out of fashion in places like Spain and Greece that really do get hot afternoons.

  14. oldbrew says:

    ‘Dismal August’

    The Met Office says: ‘So far, the highest temperature recorded this month was at Tyndrum, Scotland with 27.2°C.

    ‘Only two times in the last ten years has 30°C not been reached in August in the UK and on every occasion in the last 20 years the highest temperature for August was reported in England.’
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    Not siesta weather.