Heather was born on her family’s farm near St.Ives, a seaside town on the South-Western tip of Cornwall. Heather has lived on this farm most of her life and her parents also farmed before her. The weather is very important for farmers, allowing them to work the land, grow crops and rear animals. As a farmer Heather is very aware of the weather and in this story she recalls some of the changes she has witnessed over her lifetime. These changes are part of the bigger picture of climate change.
Climate is different to weather. Weather is what you see outside now, it is what is happening in our atmosphere each day and it is different around the world. Climate is the average weather in a place over many years. So, whilst weather can change in just a few hours, climate takes hundreds, thousands and even millions of years to change. One of the things that scientists predict we will see as part of climate change are more periods of extreme weather- for example very hot spells (heat waves), very wet periods (causing possible flooding), very windy weather, or very cold spells. They also expect that weather will become less predictable.
What to look for…
- See if you can remember any of the changes that Heather has seen to weather patterns in her lifetime.
- See if you can notice any changes that are related to Climate Change.
Ideas for discussion…
- Why do you think having the right weather at the right time of year is important to farmers?/Why do you think knowing what the weather will be like in each season is important to farmers?
- What changes has Heather seen over her lifetime?
- How is Heather aware of these changes?
- What do you think will happen in the future if the weather gets less reliable and we have more extreme weather?
Ask a local farmer…
- How aware of the weather are you as a farmer?
- Is the weather important for farming? How?
- Do you think you have seen any changes to weather patterns and seasons over your lifetime?
- Do you think you have seen more extremes of weather, such as very hot spells, very wet and heavy rain, or extremely windy weather?
- How does extreme weather such as this affect farming for you?
Climate Change is often thought about as a far off issue that affects far away places such as the Arctic and Antarctic. It is much more difficult to think about it in relation to the UK and the changes we are witnessing or are predicted to see. Heather’s Story can be used alongside other units that explore Climate Change, helping children to consider Climate Change on a more local level.