England’s Commonwealth Games anthem is Jerusalem but foreign visitors to the sporting festival in Birmingham would be forgiven for questioning the hymn’s claim that it is a green and pleasant land.
A prolonged drought has seen the usual verdant hue replaced by a golden brown resembling a sun tan as the parched grass is deprived of essential rainwater.
With hosepipe bans on their way and calls to ration water, landmarks such as Leeds Castle in Kent look very different than the images in tourist brochures while the going was decidedly firm for racehorses being put through their paces at Newmarket.
London’s green parks have also been affected with visitors greeted by scenes more akin to southern Europe.
The village of Odiham in Hampshire was starved of rain throughout July and farmers are having to bring in food for the cattle.
The fairways at the Links Golf Club in Newmarket took on a scorched look, although at least the greens lived up to their name.
Firefighters were deployed in Ashford to deal with the consequences of the weather on the tinder-dry countryside.