PHEW, what a scorcher!

As the nation basks in the heatwave with temperatures sizzling around the 32 degree mark unusual measures are being taken to keep cool.

At Wimbledon, where tennis fans are more used to rain than sunshine stopping play, officials were poised to consider allowing players to take time out between sets.

In a different sort of court, Barristers in Court Three of the Royal Courts of Justice in London were given rare permission to take their wigs off.

At Chessington Zoo, keepers have been taking special care to keep some species comfortable. Giant ice cubes containing food have been placed in the gorilla and tiger enclosures and some birds are being given a hose-down to combat rising dust levels.

Other creatures, more used to cold climates, are basking in the sun the sea lions and penguins among them.

Closer to home, piggies at Farmer Palmers Farm Park near Poole are being slathered in suntan lotion to prevent their skin getting burned.

"Pigs don't sweat like we do," said Sandra Palmer at the Park. "So it's important to provide them with shade and water, too.

"In hot weather we dig a little pool for them to slosh around in, and applying suntan lotion sets a good example to the visiting children."

The heat hasn't put the porkers off their meals, however. "Oh, they are always hungry," laughed Sandra.

"They're certainly not off their food. Unlike humans, who only want salad in this sort of heat, pigs are notorious for eating anything, at any time."

The goats, however, don't need their warm milk quite so warm and the ponies are a little slower and more lethargic.

But there are a few residents of the Farm Park who are revelling in the heat a brood of ducklings brought there recently after their mother was killed by a car at Canford Heath.

Now at home in the barn, they still have the option of a heat lamp should they need to find a bit of extra warmth!

At Monkey World near Wool, the 160 or so primates are being treated to ice lollies which they're just lapping up.

Primate Care Supervisor Lee Butler said: "Apes are exactly like us. When it's hot they seek shade and they like ice to cool down."

A misting system has been set up to create a fine spray across the enclosure, and ice lollies are offered to the monkeys.

Lee explained: "These aren't the shop-bought type. We make them here ourselves using sugar-free juice which is kinder to their teeth.

"We fill up the cups with juice, freeze them and just throw them over. The chimps and orang-utans get full sized ones, while the smaller primates get littler versions.

"Orange and lemon are popular flavours, but I'd say their favourite is blackcurrant!"

Of course, it's not just animals feeling the heat.

Homeowners are finding wax candles left in conservatories reduced to pools of liquid.

On Monday the Bournemouth Eye Balloon was temporarily grounded in the Lower Gardens after the sun's rays caused an increase in helium pressure.