In one of the most remarkable signs yet of the advance of global warming, Britain’s first olive grove has been planted in Devon. Temperatures have risen so far in recent years that it is now considered possible to grow the iconic fruit of the Mediterranean countries commercially in southern England. Several studies have suggested that, in decades to come, olives, vines and other warm-climate plants will be likely to flourish in a substantially warmer Britain. Now a Devon smallholder has taken the plunge and, in partnership with an Italian olive specialist, planted a grove of 120 olive trees on the banks of the river Otter near Honiton. Mark Diacono, who is establishing a ‘climate change farm’ on his land, intends his olives to be a commercial crop which will produce Britain’s first home-grown olive oil, in five to seven years. He has planted them in co-operation with an Italian gardener living in England, Emilio Ciacci, who has provided the trees from the hills near his home at Maremma, Tuscany. A 39-year-old environmental consultant, Mr Diacono has no doubt that UK temperatures are becoming suitable for olive cultivation. ‘There’s no question that the climate is going to […]

Read the Full Article