the driest january on record...

It is amazing to hear murmurs about water restrictions in the middle of February. We are all used to the perennial problems in July and August as pipes and reservoirs serving our

towns and villages leak one of our most precious resources; but to be short of water in February is quite extraordinary. The people of Peterborough and Stamford use piped water (via underground pipes close to the farm) from Rutland Reservoir, and after the driest January for 20 years I hear that the reservoir is currently only at 70% of the expected capacity. It seems unbelievable to be saying it but it looks like we should all be hoping for more rain!

For us on the farm, the shortage of rainfall through January has its benefits and drawbacks. On the positive side it has dried the soil out a little, enabling us to get on with machinery to plant our early crops of broad beans and garlic. The drawback could come later in the year as nature has a tendency of balancing itself out over time. What we don