The prolonged heatwave across the UK has resulted in a banana tree owned by a Kenyan expat living in Yorkshire to sprout for the first time in 18 years.
75-year-old Sher Khan, who first moved to the UK in 1965, and his wife Rozia have said they are delighted by the tree’s growth in their garden in Thornaby-on-Tees, North Yorkshire.
Former petrol station manager Mr Khan said: “We were really pleased, we were happy – over the moon. It reminded me of back home in Kenya.”
Mr Khan first acquired the tree from a neighbour when it was just a 5 inch tall sapling and it has survived harsh winters and heavy rainfall, but never before produced any fruit.
Since leaving Kenya, he had never before seen the fruit growing outside in Britain, but he intends to celebrate when the 20 bananas ripen.
Mr Khan has some advice for any British banana tree growers, explaining that the tree has survived so long because he feeds it with water and eggshells, and covers it in the winter to prevent it from freezing.