it’s a corker: Sun ensures bumper grape crop

AUTUMN’s bonus introductory offer of blazing sunshine has been just the job for finishing off English grapes and Leventhorpe Vineyard at Woodlesford, near Leeds, is celebrating a bumper crop.

Sarah Bowden, daughter of George Bowden, who planted the vines in 1986, is shown picking yesterday – the hottest September 30 for more than 100 years.

A temperature of 29.2C (84.6F) was recorded in Cambridge in mid-afternoon, beating the previous high of 27.8C (82F) recorded in Maidenhead, Berkshire, on the same day in 1908. Temperatures were still above 26C in parts of Yorkshire at 6pm.

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There was speculation that today could break records for October and travel information firm Trafficlink said “summer routes” which would normally be OK at this time of year would be busy.

From tomorrow the weather picture looks a little less reliable, both regionally and nationally, but some areas of the country could stay lucky for the first half of the week.