Deeping St Nicholas farmer talks weather

Nicholas Watts.
Nicholas Watts.

What seemed to be an exceptionally mild winter here in south Lincolnshire is not so unusual – maybe it is just that we have become used to some colder winters these last few years.

The warmest winter was in 1974/5 when the coldest temperature for the whole winter I recorded was only -20C.

While most of the country was suffering from excess rainfall in December, here in south Lincolnshire our rainfall was below average, only 33mm, less than 1½in.

January rainfall, however, was very different and here at Deeping St Nicholas it was the wettest January I have recorded since 1970, 98.2mm, slightly under 4in. 1956 and 1939 were the only two years in the last century that were wetter.

I don’t believe our weather is getting more extreme as our average rainfall over the past 200 years has actually decreased by half an inch (12mm) a year. We always seem to be breaking weather records because there are so many to be broken. There is a chance that any of the 12 months could be the wettest, driest, coldest or the warmest, and then we could lump two or three months together and they could be the driest, wettest, coldest or warmest.

What has increased is the flooding. Our rivers are never dredged and they are getting shallower because soil runs off fields into them. We keep laying more concrete and tarmac, neither of which absorbs any moisture.