Bad weather sees wildlife struggle
This year's bad weather has proved "almost apocalyptic" for much of the UK's wildlife, the National Trust has warned.
Many birds, bats, butterflies, bees, amphibians and wildflowers have been struggling in the cold and wet conditions and the trust warns that the outlook for some species next year is bleak.
There have been some wildlife winners from the wettest April to June on record and the second dullest June ever recorded, but they are hardly Britain's most-loved species, with slugs and snails thriving in gardens.
Gardeners have also been battling to keep their fast-growing lawns mown, while bracken, nettles and brambles are all doing well in the countryside.
The wet weather has also been good for mosses and plants such as early gentian and bee orchids, and twayblade, pyramidal and common spotted orchids have been thriving on the trackways of Whipsnade Downs in Bedfordshire.
But the National Trust's conservation adviser, Matthew Oates, said the list of losers was much longer, and warned of local extinctions of species of rare and isolated insects such as butterflies.
Wet weather has hit the breeding attempts of a wide array of wildlife, with puffins drowned in their burrows, sea birds being blown off cliffs by gales and garden birds struggling to find enough food for their young.
At Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland, adult terns have been struggling to keep eggs and chicks warm and dry through the relentless wet weather and it could be a year when no common, Arctic or Sandwich terns fledge from the site.
Puffins on the Farne Islands, managed by the National Trust, have had a catastrophic breeding year, with 90% of burrows lost on Brownsman Island and around half of burrows flooded on the other islands.
The cool conditions have also affected bats, in particular lesser and greater horseshoe bats whose pregnancies will have slowed down.