National Trust to give staff ‘Mediterranean hours’ and siestas amid climate change


Ham House

That increase in average temperatures of around one degree Celsius since the mid-19th century must be really stressful. It’s probably cheaper to offer siestas than to buy and operate suitable ventilation systems.
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The National Trust is giving its workers Mediterranean-style siestas in summer due to climate change making the weather increasingly hot, reports

Staff and volunteers in the south of England will start the day earlier, finish later, and have a long lunch break to avoid the hottest part of the day, as people already do in countries such as Italy and Spain.

A spokesperson for the charity told The Guardian: “It’s fair to say that, as we experience more extreme temperatures, we will be looking to offer Mediterranean working hours, especially in the east which is likely to experience more frequent higher temperatures to ensure the health and safety of our staff and volunteers.”

Staff in Ham House in Richmond, south London, are already offered the new hours when it is hot. The property was forced to close in August 2019 after temperatures reached more than 40C. [Talkshop comment – presumably indoors as the UK outdoor record is below 40C].

Meanwhile, the charity is also planting trees to provide shade and moving its benches into the shade to protect staff and visitors from extreme heat. In some gardens, staff are planting Mediterranean plants, which can survive drier, hotter conditions.

It is also expected that the peak visiting times will shift to later in the year when it is cooler and easier to go on long walks.

Analysis of visitor data over the last five years found that numbers of tourists increase when temperatures hit 24C, but drops at temperatures over 28C.

This is particularly pronounced for indoor activities, including guided walks around stately homes.

Full report here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

August 25, 2021 at 08:21AM

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