The Met Office Climatological Station, located on The Slopes in Buxton, just above the War Memorial, has records of the Buxton climate, reaching back nearly 150 years.
But because of financial constraints, problems have arisen for High Peak Borough Council in providing staff for the daily task of reading instruments and logging results from the weather station.
That’s when Michael Hilton decided to step in and save the station from being permanently closed – famed for his Buxton Weather website, which attracts thousands of visitors everyday looking for detailed weather information and forecasts for the area as well as traffic updates on major roads in and out the town.
Michael, who runs the independent weather site at www.buxtonweather.co.uk said “we advertised for volunteers and enough people came forward within a few days who were very keen to help – the result is, that we have now set up a rota of 12 -14 fully trained people to compile readings and enter the information into the Met Office computers. We have had great support from the Met Office and from HPBC staff at Buxton Town Hall in setting all this up.”
Michael went on the say that “this is so typical of how supportive local people are to their town – there is a great spirit, of wanting to help make Buxton a better place for everyone, and of playing your part in the fabric of Buxton life – just look at the Opera House, the Well Dressings, The Town Team, Talking Signposts, and many other local organisations – none of them would be so successful, without local volunteers”
“The Buxton Climatological Station has records of temperatures, humidity, rainfall, and much more – and even details like the daily temperature of the soil, one metre (3 feet) below the ground! – and the records already go back 150 years – just imagine the value of this data, to people in the future, looking at climate change or global warming. We think it would be shame, if this long and unbroken record was lost”.
Why is the weather station even on The Slopes?
It was in 1868, the people of Buxton, subscribed to the setting up of a weather station, to record temperatures, rainfall, and other details – this was initially placed in the grounds of the Devonshire Royal Hospital, and the readings were taken by a local chemist.
In 1925 the equipment was moved to the present site on the Slopes – and until recently, the readings were undertaken by staff working at High Peak Borough Council working at the Town Hall in Buxton.