High and dry: British landscapes before and after record-breaking heatwave

Months of little rainfall and soaring temperatures have dried out soils and depleted rivers

Before and after picture of Bridport & West Dorset Golf Club with one image taken on April 29 and scorched fairways picture taken on July 26th Credit: BNPS

Landscapes across Britain are being starved of water after parts of England saw their direst July in records dating back to 1836. 

Months of little rainfall, combined with record-breaking temperatures in July, have left rivers at exceptionally low levels, depleted reservoirs and dried out soils.

As a result of the dry conditions, parched parts of England are facing a hosepipe ban ahead of another predicted heatwave next week in an effort to conserve water.

The Met Office has warned there is "very little meaningful rain" on the horizon for parched areas of England as temperatures are set to climb into the 30s next week.

Photos taken before and amid the heatwave illustrate the impact of the lack of rain and soaring temperatures over the last few weeks. 


Princes Street Gardens, a prime location in the city centre of Edinburgh, currently resembles a dustbowl, as thousands of visitors descend on the Scottish capital for the Fringe Festival.

Hyde Park

Usually lush and green parts of London, such as the waterfront in Hyde Park, have completely dried out in the heat. Tourists and city residents normally flock to the grass for picnics and to lounge in the sun during summer.

Dorset golf club

A view of the fairways and rough shows the lush green course before and after the heatwave and drought which scorched the grass at the Bridport & West Dorset Golf Club on the clifftop at the seaside resort of West Bay in Dorset.

Parliament Hill

The formerly lush lawn at Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath, has become patchy and dry as a result of the soaring temperatures. England faced the driest eight-month period from November 2021 for the country since 1976.

Lulworth Cove 

Lulworth Cove in Dorset has also fallen victim to the drought. An original photo from last year during August demonstrates the stark difference in climate.

Warwick Castle

The lawn at Warwick Castle in Warwickshire is a sight for sore eyes in these comparisons. The historic sight is a popular day out for families during the summer holidays but its grounds have also been dried out by the heatwave.


Stonehenge in Wiltshire is beginning to show signs of drought with yellowing grass. The Met office has said there are indications of a return to more changeable weather conditions from about mid-August.

Arundel castle 

Sussex Martlets play Emeriti at the Arundel Castle Cricket Ground in Sussex on 4 August, where the grass has begun to die out as a result of little rainfall and high temperatures.