The Winter was considerably dry and with the lack of usual rainfall in the previous Autumn that meant we were reliant on heavy snowfalls and a wet Spring to top up the water table. We did have snow but nothing like the quantity we needed for ensuring plentiful water to be deposited in rivers,lakes, canals and reservoirs. Winter tumbled on into March and suddenly we had Mediterranean weather – beautiful sunshine and temperatures in the lower 20’s (Celsius). People tore off their Winter garb and quickly embraced T-shirts and light-weight Summer garments.
Several rivers have caused concern including the river Rye in Yorkshire, which dried up in places. This meant that the Environment Agency had to take action and save as many fish as possible from areas where the river had ‘ponded.’
As soon as we turned April over on the calendar their was talk of drought – hosepipe bans – water shortages – problems with dry crumbling soils – spoiled crops . . . then the rains began. Not the usual light showers followed by hours of sunshine but relentless heavy battering drops that thundered on and on day after day, April temperatures fell back down the scale.
Now we are well into May and still we are having showers and bleak, grey days and frosts in many areas at night. The water table in many areas has increased to such a point that most of the country is now not in drought, though the South-East is still in need of quite a bit more rainfall. Areas of the country have received quite large deposits of snow and others have had heavy hail storms. The rest of us are secretly longing for a lick of sunshine and a bit of warmth, perhaps just a hint that it may not be too long before we can don some Summer clothes and share some space with the bees!