Suncream treatment for ailing aardvarks

Britain's sizzling summer heatwave reached a peak yesterday with temperatures soaring to record highs.At East Anglia's zoos it was a case of slopping on some suncream - for the animals that is, not the humans.

Britain's sizzling summer heatwave reached a peak yesterday with temperatures soaring to record highs.

At East Anglia's zoos it was a case of slopping on some suncream - for the animals that is, not the humans.

At Banham Zoo, near Attleborough, three-year-old Tamworth pigs Geraldine and Alice have been getting some protective help from their keepers to stop them from burning, while at Africa Alive, at Kessingland, near Lowestoft, the park's three aardvarks have been getting the same treatment.

On the roads, 20pc to 30pc of Norfolk's network was being dusted yesterday to deal with melting surfaces.

The main problems areas were again on the A140 at Newton Flotman, near Norwich, Long Stratton and Dickleburgh, near Diss.

There were also problems on the B1332 Woodton to Ditchingham road and in the north of the county, on the Lenwade to Hockering road.

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It is costing about £5,000 a day to dust the roads and the staff would normally be doing routine maintenance jobs.

In Suffolk, the county council had six gritters dusting patches.

Several schools in London were adopting continental hours because of the heat but a Norfolk County Council spokesman said: "All of Norfolk's schools are continuing to work perfectly normally . . . Clearly, if the current conditions became a consistent feature of our weather, an earlier start to the school day may well become worthy of serious consideration."

Air conditioning seemed to be popular yesterday.

Martin Macwhinnie, general manager of the Castle Mall, Norwich, said: "People seemed to be coming in to get out of the heat. "

Glyn Evans, retail manager at Vue in the Castle Mall, said: "We have got some fantastic films out at the moment and we have seen at least a 20pc rise in audience figures. The cinemas are all fully air conditioned."

Although climate scientists cannot say for certain if specific events, such as yesterday's heatwave, are down to global warming, there is increasing evidence that extreme weather will become more common if emissions of carbon dioxide - a greenhouse gas acknowledged as one of the main causing of climate change - continue to rise.

Marcus Armes, from the Norfolk-born CRed carbon reduction campaign, said: "Extreme weather events such as heatwaves or flooding are far more likely in the future which reinforces the need to take swift action now."