Forecasters predict rain could mar holiday sales

August's unsettled weather set to continue in to Bank Holiday weekend

Garden centres hoping for a busy Bank Holiday weekend will be out of luck, say weather forecasters. Severe weather warnings of heavy rain and flooding have been issued to most parts of the country over the past few weeks. Independent weather consultancy Wiseweather forecasts the end of August to be just as bad, marring hopes of a traditionally busy sales weekend. A Garden Centre Association (GCA) representative said: “The August Bank Holiday weekend is always seen as an opportunity —some garden centres will even be starting their end-of-season sales. “Easter and spring holidays are the key dates but this August will possibly be a chance to catch up with slower sales from the start of the season. However, this will all depend on the weather.” The outdoor manager at Stafford-based Fletchers Garden & Leisure Centre, Alex Robson, said: “The Bank Holiday is better for us because we have lots of customers who still come anyway. We’ve got a wildlife sanctuary, an adventure playground and crazy golf. But we’re hoping the weather’s going to be all right.” The chairman of West Lothian-based New Hopetoun Gardens, Dougal Philip, said: “Things are changing for us in Scotland and we are now busier on UK holidays than before. Thank goodness for our tea room — it normally accounts for 10 per cent of our turnover, but 30 per cent in bad weather.”

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