Deeping St Nicholas grower talks about... the weather

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Nearly every time I write my column I am writing about the unusual weather we have had.

This time is no exception as we have had such unusual weather again.

The maximum temperature during the last ten days in March was only 5 degrees C. Most of the time it was windy as well so it was feeling a lot colder than the temperature suggested. In fact, there were more frosts in March than there were in January or February.

As a result March was a colder month than January.

None of us can remember the countryside looking so brown in early April before although I do remember in 1960 that it snowed on eight of the first 12 days in April – and my diary confirms that, as I had started keeping a diary in November 1959.

None of us can ever remember the rape crop getting smaller in February and March. The pigeons have been so hungry they have been eating the crop and have been very difficult to keep off the rape crops.

Quite simply, in cold weather the birds have to eat more food to keep themselves warm, whereas we just use more oil or gas.

Fortunately as I am writing this spring is appearing.

Swallows, whitethroats, yellow wagtails and blackcaps have all returned from Africa.

Leaves are appearing on trees... and the lawns need cutting.