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Beach cafes and bats victims of wet July
Sussex is on course for one of the wettest Julys on record.
Despite a much-welcomed sunny spell the county is likely to still have seen the rainiest July in five years.
Unofficial figures show about 105mm fell on the area during the month – and that is without taking into account the latest downpours.
The Met Office confirmed Sussex has experienced only eight Julys during which more than 100mm fell since records began in 1915.
The most recent was 2007, which was the second wettest in history, but a Met Office spokesman said it was highly likely last month will be one of the wettest ever.
It follows a horrendous start to the summer weather-wise with the second wettest April and the wettest ever June in the south east.
The statistics are likely to make grim reading for beachside businesses, which have been praying for some sunshine.
Frazer Smith, owner of the Bedazzle souvenir shop in Kings Road Arches, Brighton, said this was the worst year he had ever seen.
He said the “hotter the better” for business after last week saw the sun finally grace the county with a period of fine weather.
But Steve Simpson and Chris Graham, of the Brighton Music Hall bar near Palace Pier, said they would need about six weeks of sunshine to break even.
And while this week sunny spells are predicted, come Saturday forecasters are again saying rain could return.
The deluges have also impacted on the county’s wildlife with species ranging from slugs to bats affected.
Sussex has been swarming with giant slugs with the wet weather proving perfect for the molluscs.
Farmers and fruit growers have reported an increase in the slimy creatures which are destroying their crops.
But the rain has been bad news for bats whose food supply has been hit by the rain.
The Sussex Wildlife Trust said large numbers of bats have been discovered in distress because they cannot hunt for insects which do not fly when it rains.
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