< Back to blog

We can see Venus now the clouds have gone… Posted On 08 April 2020

Lockdown lights path to brighter days

These are dark days for our communities. Fear dogs our daily lives, with the bleak daily updates of coronavirus’ vice-like grip turning our accepted routines upside down and shrouds them in clouds of anxiety. Yet there is light at the end of the tunnel; with heavy emphasis on the word light.

Because not only has British Summer Time made it lighter in the evening, COVID-19 has ensured it is also brighter in the morning… in the middle of the day… and in the afternoon.

If there is a silver lining to be had from this crisis it can be found in the air or, to be precise, the quality of air. The by-product of the Government’s enforced lockdown is that stay-at-home workers and shoppers have contributed to a significant decrease in traffic on the roads. And with major airlines suspending 80 per cent of their flights, there is a marked absence of jet contrails criss-crossing our skies.

Which has brought a drastic reduction in air pollution.

The scale of the unintended atmospheric clean-up operation was revealed by satellite data released by the European Space Agency. It shows a 40 per cent dip in nitrogen dioxide across Europe, with the persistent high-level haze hovering over highly-populated urban areas – largely caused by jet exhaust fumes and blocking almost 16 per cent of sunlight – almost eradicated.

For those who love to look up, this scrubbing of the atmosphere has coincided with frosty nights and this rare clarity has allowed city dwellers the chance to see a super-bright Venus, generally obscured by minute soot particles, and should provide crystal-clear views of this week’s super-moon, often known as the Pink Moon after one of the first flowers to bloom in spring, the Wild Ground Phlox or moss pink .

And the lack of man-made movement in the skies has helped create something of a phenomenon under water in Venice, where lockdown and the absence of tourists has contributed to the normally murky waters of the world-famous canal system becoming clearer as the heavily churned sediment settles. There are even reports that fish have been spotted in the Grand Canal.

Nature has also been reclaiming the streets in Britain, or to be precise Llandudno, where a herd of goats have been spotted wandering quarantined areas normally clogged with cars and visitors to the north Wales resort.

However, one of the main advantages of the lack of human movement may not be felt until temperatures start to rise… and its good news for the humble bee, a long-time victim of lead pollution.

They may find their jobs a little easier as they zip around flower beds as there will be a marked absence of fine particles to interfere with their sense of smell as they search for flowers heavenly swollen with pollen.

And with the bee’s pollenating service worth a staggering £690million a year to the UK economy – or, if you like, contributing to one in three mouthfuls of food we consume – that is nothing to be sneezed at.

< Back to blog

Connect with us

Recent Posts

Most unique and prestigious advent calendars for the whole family this Christmas.

Believe it or not, Christmas is coming, and it’s perhaps come around quicker than most Christmases before it… So it’s time to start thinking about advent calendars!   It’s true that we usually prefer to be eating chocolate each morning of December on the lead up to good ol’ Christmas, for it’s a time to …

Read more...

UK average house prices increase to record highs

Average house price increases by 4.7% over the year to September   According to the latest UK House Price Index from the ONS and the Land Registry, average UK house prices rose by 4.7%, up from 3.0% in August to a record high of £245,000.   This comes before a second boost to the property …

Read more...

Football-mad, Imogen raises over £14k for charity

An 11-year-old football-mad girl has done one keepie-uppie for each keyworker in the UK to raise money for charity.   Imogen Papworth-Heidel, a Cambridgeshire schoolgirl, was so inspired by Sir Captain Tom’s charity work during lockdown that she decided to set up a Just Giving page of her own. Imogen decided to do one keepie-uppie …

Read more...

Lockdown 2.0 sparks a surge in property enquiries

New lockdown restrictions in England have increased property market activity, similar to the easing of the first lockdown surge.   When the first lockdown restrictions were eased, they sparked a record surge in new enquiries for vendors, buyers, landlords and tenants and over the past week, since Lockdown 2.0 was introduced, the market has seen …

Read more...

Thousands of people decorate for Xmas early

Huge numbers of people are already putting the Christmas decorations after a difficult year…   With 2020 being a year like no other, thousands of people are putting their Christmas decorations up early to spread festive cheer and bring a bit of magic and joy to the end of this troubled year.   Whether you …

Read more...