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Tourists enjoyed punting in Cambridge wearing T-SHIRTS as temperatures soared to 17C in England – just nine days before Christmas.

Tourists enjoyed punting in Cambridge wearing T-SHIRTS as temperatures soared to 17C in England – just nine days before Christmas. Punting companies have often been forced to close in December as the River Cam ices over, but this year tours along the historic Backs are in full swing as the UK is unseasonably mild. Experts at the Met Office said parts of England would see temperatures of 17C today – more than double the normal average of 7.2C and not far from the December record of 18.3C set in Scotland in 1948.

The extraordinarily mild weather has seen daffodils bloom across the country two months early, blossom on the trees and bees buzzing as Britain enjoys an early spring. Pink blossom, honeysuckle and even roses are all flourishing at National Trust property Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire after England has seen just two frosts so far this winter. Butterflies have also been seen flying around, instead of hibernating, after an exceptionally mild November, which was the third warmest on record in England. Many birds have also been absent from garden bird feeders so far this year as they make the most of the mild weather to source berries and insects in fields instead.

“The weather is extremely mild for this time of year due to the warm air coming up from the Azores,” said Lindsay Mears, of the Met Office. “The unsettled weather looks set to continue into next week.”

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