UK at risk as world heats up

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Wildfires will break out in national parts and "stifling" temperatures in cities will hit café culture as global warming takes hold, a new report has concluded.

The first major report of its kind, from Manchester University and the charity Sustainability Northwest, refutes a popular assumption that climate change will boost tourism in a hotter, sunnier Britain. It concludes that the extreme weather that would result would create as many problems as opportunities.

It warns of an increased risk of wildfire in moorland areas such as the Peak District, and says people may have to be prevented from going to national parks during very hot weather when they would most wish to visit them. Some footpaths in the Lake District could become unusable.

At the same time, it says: "City centres are set to become hotter and more stifling, which could have a negative effect on local economies."

Marc Etches, the chairman of the report's management board, said: "Our cities and our countryside need help in adapting to wetter, stormier winters and hotter, drier summers."