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  • New data released today reveals that recent storms and flooding caused more than £3.5 million worth of damage across 57 cricket clubs

 

  • Announcement kicks off The Climate Coalition’s Show the Love campaign and launches their ‘Weather Warning’ report showcasing how many of the nation’s favourite places are being impacted by extreme weather, linked to climate change

Lord’s has become the first cricket ground in the country to run on 100% renewable energy, as new figures reveal the increasing disruption to cricket caused by extreme weather patterns linked to climate change.

New statistics released by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), owners of Lord’s, illustrate that extreme weather in December 2015, which has been linked to climate change, caused more than £3.5 million worth of damage across 57 cricket clubs. Increased rainfall is also causing significant loss of fixtures in recreational cricket and impacting on the professional game.

Two of the affected clubs, Sowerby Bridge in Yorkshire and Appleby Eden in Cumbria, are yet to return to their home grounds due to the extent of the damage suffered in 2015. The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) distributed more than £1 million in emergency funding to flood-affected clubs in 2016, with a further £1.6 million earmarked for 2017.

The announcement launches the annual ‘Show The Love’ campaign from The Climate Coalition, whose members include WWF-UK, the RSPB, the National Trust, The Women’s Institute and Christian Aid. It also accompanies the publication of a ’Weather Warning’ report highlighting how extreme weather conditions are affecting some of Britain’s favourite places - from our gardens to our local pubs, our rivers to our parish churches, our iconic cliffs to our favourite woodlands. Corbridge Cricket Club in Northumberland, which was badly affected by Storm Desmond, is featured in the report.

Derek Brewer, MCC Chief Executive, said:

“It is important that all organisations embrace sustainability and I’m very pleased that Lord’s has become the first cricket ground in the country to run on 100% renewable energy. The statistics released today illustrate the effect that changing weather patterns can have on cricket, and the ECB deserve a lot of praise for the support they give clubs across the country that are so badly affected by extreme weather.”

Founded in 1787, MCC moved to the current Lord’s Ground in 1814 and has developed a broad sustainability programme, meeting their 2020 emissions targets last year. The new Warner Stand, which will be opened in April 2017, is symbolic of MCC’s sustainability drive. The innovative structure, designed by architects Populous, includes photovoltaic roof panels for electricity generation and a state-of-the-art water collection and recycling system.

Colin Butfield, Director of Campaigns at WWF-UK, and member of The Climate Coalition Board, said:

“The quintessentially British sound of leather on willow in the summer months is being disrupted by increased rainfall and flooding that is scientifically linked to climate change. It is affecting cricket grounds and many other of the UK’s favourite places, landmarks and landscapes. These are yet more warning signs that human activity is impacting Britain.”

“We applaud the leadership shown by MCC, and encourage everyone who cares about cricket, outdoor sports or the environment to support Show The Love and play their part in tackling climate change.”

The Weather Warning report was analysed by the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds.

Professor Piers Forster, director of the Priestley Centre for Climate, said:

“UK weather will always bowl us the odd googly but climate change is making them harder to defend against. The science has now developed to the point where we can say whether the likelihood of a particular bout of weather has been increased by climate change. We know that climate change made the record wet weather in December 2015 considerably more likely. The trend towards more intense rainfall is clear and it’s great to see MCC, ECB and The Climate Coalition raising awareness of these challenges that aren’t just affecting people in other countries but are having impacts right here in the UK.'

Two extreme weather events linked to climate change in the past eight years have caused extensive damage to Wordsworth’s childhood home whilst the iconic chalk cliffs at Birling Gap have seen increased rates of erosion due to heavy rainfall, sea-level rise and an increase in the regularity of storm events. The report also found that Slimbridge Wetlands Centre in Gloucestershire, founded by Sir Peter Scott, has recorded changes in bird species at the centre which have been linked to changes in temperature.

Show The Love, launching on 7th Feb 2017, is an annual celebration of all that we love but could lose to climate change and the progress we are making towards a clean and secure future. The campaign encourages people to wear and share green hearts to demonstrate their support. As part of the campaign, and bringing the Weather Warning report to life, Ridley Scott Associates have made ‘Love Song’, a three minute film featuring Charles Dance, Miranda Richardson, Elbow and the NHS Choir, urging the British public to protect the places, people and life we love from climate change.

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Notes to editors

  1. Tuesday 7th February am, Launch Event & Photo Call: Lord’s will be hosting a cricket game between local schoolchildren, MCC & TCC spokespeople. Following the match, media will be invited on a tour of Lords’ new sustainable stand.
  2. Show The Love is organised by The Climate Coalition, the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action on climate change and limiting its impact on the people, places and life we love at home in the UK and around the world, including the world’s poorest countries. It includes over 130 organisations with a combined supporter base of 15 million. Together, we want a world powered by clean and secure energy within a generation.
  3. The Weather Warning report can be found here from Thursday 2nd. The report includes well known and everyday places across the UK including Wordsworth’s childhood home in the Lake District, Neolithic settlement Skara Brae in the Orkney Islands, the seven sisters chalk cliffs at Birling Gap and Slimbridge Wetlands Centre in Gloucestershire.
  4. Watch the Love Song film here from Friday 3rd and for more information on Show The Love visit: showthelove.org.uk
  5. Show The Love is supported by a host of sports clubs, bodies and venues, including Manchester United, Manchester City, Stoke City FC, AFC Bournemouth, Southampton FC, The FA Premier League, British Cycling, Principality Stadium, The Ramblers and The British Mountaineering Council as well as partners including M&S, The Body Shop, Aviva, Ikea, Unilever, and National Farmers Union, RNLI and Youth Hostels Association.
  6. The current Lord’s Cricket Ground is its third incarnation and 2014 marked its 200th anniversary. The first ever match played at “Lord’s Cricket Ground” came in 1787 when businessman Thomas Lord staged a game between Middlesex and Essex at a newly-built ground in what was then known as Dorset Fields.  By 1811, MCC had moved to a new Ground on the Eyre Estate in St John’s Wood. This ground proved less popular but when plans emerged for the Regent’s Canal to be built straight through it, Thomas Lord gratefully accepted compensation and moved the Ground to its current location in 1814.