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West Somerset businesses struggle in June rain
BUSINESSES in West Somerset have been struggling to ride the crest of the third wettest June since records began in 1910.
Met Office figures show that the area has had more than 200% of the total monthly average rainfall so far for June, as we are well into the peak summer tourism season.
Sue Dean, owner of Blenheim Gardens Cafe, said: “The weather has affected us a lot down here – because we are in the middle of the park, no-one comes in when it’s wet. Some days we have only taken £20 or £30 and if it’s a really bad day we have just had to go home.
"But the bands are starting to play on a Sunday from this weekend and the school holidays are coming up, so hopefully things will be picking up. I am sure it will be alright in the end!”
There are signs the weather has also deterred impromptu visits to the area.
Lena Bond, deputy manager of the Minehead Visitor Information Centre, said: “It is difficult for us to compare to last year because we have not been open for long but there seems to have been a reasonable number of people coming through our doors.
"However, accommodation providers have said it has been quite a slow start to the season and we haven’t had many people on spec, looking for accommodation that night.
"We seem to have quite a few foreign visitors, because I suspect many have pre-booked, but even pre-bookings for accommodation are slightly down.”
But some venues paint a brighter picture of this month, with some seemingly unaffected by the washout.
Chris Moiser, park director of Tropiquaria near Watchet, said: “We are quite fortunate because we have quite a lot to see indoors here, so if people have planned to come out, they normally still do. We are a bit more all-weather than many places and that clearly does make a difference.
“We seem to be completely bucking the trend – our visitor numbers are actually slightly up on last year. Fingers crossed for a reasonable summer.”