April is a Leeds record scorcher

Walkers walking near Eccup Reservoir, Leeds.

Walkers walking near Eccup Reservoir, Leeds.

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LAST month’s scorching temperatures in Leeds were the highest ever to be recorded.

The Met Office confirmed that Yorkshire experienced the hottest April on record and local weather watcher Rob Brooks, of Farsley, Leeds, said it was the warmest April since records began in 1659.

Rob has kept a close eye on weather conditions since the 1960s.

He said: “Last month the mean maximum temperature was a sweltering 16.8C, which is closer to the temperatures we see in June and is 6C above the normal temperature for that time of year.

“April was also the driest of any month since February 1934, with just 2.6mm of rain.”

The sizzling heat and dry conditions have lead to several fires taking hold across the region.

Firefighters faced a busy bank holiday weekend as more than 150 blazes broke out, including moorland fires in Halifax and Keighley.

Barbecue lovers have been warned by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to only barbecue in authorised areas, to take their rubbish home with them and not to start fires in the countryside.

The tropical temperatures also meant birds, insects, bats and frogs came out of hibernation early and are already breeding.

Specialist conservation officer for Leeds City Council, Kerry Fieldhouse, said: “Swallows and swifts have started nesting and a family of weasels have also been spotted, which means they are breeding early and so are butterflies.

“But pond levels will drop across the country and streams will be running low, which is bad news for frogs, toads and newts.

“Fires are also an issue as they can endanger the lives of the wildlife that lives nearby. We need a bit of rain now. That is a definite.”

Yorkshire Water is reassuring customers that reservoir levels are safe despite the warm weather.

A spokesperson said: “Water resources are normal for this time of year with reservoirs across the region being 82 per cent full. We will continue to monitor the weather closely. We have no plans to introduce water restrictions.”

Nomad Clan - , street art muralist duo Joy Gilleard and Hayley Garner - are working on their latest project 'Athena Rising' which is set to be the UK's tallest mural on the side of the Platform Building near Leeds Station. Pictures: James Hardisty