Pupils play it cool but gardeners feel the heat

Cokethorpe School pupils Jack Harding takes a tumble while windsurfing at Standlake

Alice Potter, nine, Rosa Birchenough and Annabel Page, both 10, on the water rings

Ben Phillips, 11, waterskiing

Waterperry gardener Mark Lamb with delphiniums towering above him

Robert Bull, director of the Oxford Garden Company, is trying to keep gardens alive in the hot weather

Oxford's Castle Mound is looking parched

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by

AS CHILDREN took advantage of the continuing heatwave, with schools beginning to break up for the summer holidays, not everyone has welcomed the sun.

Pupils and their siblings at Cokethorpe School, in Duckington, near Witney, have been enjoying a two-week activity break at Hardwick Parks in Standlake.

They tried waterskiing, windsurfing, football and other sports.

Jack Harding, 10, said: “I think it 's brilliant. There are so many different things to do.”

Ben Phillips, 11, said: “I cannot believe how lucky it is to be able to waterski at a summer school. I love waterskiing.”

Warwick Daniels, director of external communications at the school, said: “This is the first summer we can remember where we have had two weeks of sunshine.

“We usually have rain and howling winds.”

But Robert Bull, a director at the Oxford Garden Company, said: “We’re struggling, to be honest, as there just isn’t enough water.

“Not much is growing at the moment, especially the grass. It’s adding more time to our jobs to try and tend to the gardens.”

At Waterperry Gardens, near Wheatley, gardeners are marvelling at the height of one of their delphiniums, which has reached 9ft 21/4 inches in height.

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Horticultural manager Rob Jacobs is contacting the Guinness Book of World Records to see if it has actually broken any records.

Gardener Mark Lamb said: “The delphinium is looking magnificent and it has taken a great deal of work to get it looking so good.

“In December, we were gritting and laying manure, and all our hard work has paid off.”

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