Oak before ash, in for a splash. Ash before oak, in for a soak. So goes the old wives’ tale and the fact that, this spring, our oaks burst into leaf many weeks before our ash would seem to add some weight to the theory. So far, this summer has been one of the hottest since records began a little over a century ago. June was lovely, July was the eighth warmest since 1910, and Met Office forecasts suggest August is going to be pretty nice too (albeit with a few more showers than we have been used to the last couple of months).