A TORNADO threatened to descend on south Colchester.

Photographer Tom Harris was volunteering at Abberton Reservoir nature reserve when he spotted a funnel cloud over Peldon Church. It stayed in the sky for five minutes before disappearing.

Tom, 17, said: “I'd never seen anything like it.

“I rushed into the office, grabbed my camera and took a few photos before it disappeared.

“I was definitely at the right place at the right time, and would love to see one again.”

Funnel clouds, like the one pictured in Abberton on Saturday, are the beginnings of tornadoes which do not visibly reach the ground.

They occur when rapidly rotating winds form beneath heavy shower or thunder clouds and normally are too weak for the cloud formation to touch the ground.

The National Trust has warned the wettest April to June on record has proved “almost apocalyptic” for much of the UK’s wildlife.

Many birds, bats, butterflies, bees, amphibians and wildflowers have been struggling in the cold wet conditions, and the trust warns that the outlook for some species next year is bleak.

l Drier and warmer weather is expected next week, but only after more downpours.

This summer’s grim weather has been caused by the jet stream settling unusually far south.

Experts believe it is on its way back north, restoring a more usual summer pattern.

Tom Tobler, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: “It looks like southern areas can expect some dryer and warmer weather. It's more like average summer conditions and weather we would expect.”