Almost 8,000 homes and businesses were flooded last year as the UK was repeatedly battered by heavy rain, storms and floods. But 2012 began with a number of water companies imposing hosepipe bans as swathes of England faced drought following two dry winters.
The dry weather then gave way to persistent rain, with the UK experiencing a record April and June, and the wettest summer in a century.
Farmers' crops were hit by the unusually wet summer, while the UK's wildlife struggled in poor conditions, with only a few species including slugs and orchids thriving. The Met Office said changes in sea surface temperatures and a reduction of Arctic sea ice could be helping to increase rainfall.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson toured Upton upon Severn in Worcestershire with MP Harriett Baldwin, studying the town's successful flood defences.
The Environment Secretary has celebrated the successful flood scheme recently opened in Upton upon Severn during a tour of the town.
The two flood defence schemes which have protected houses and businesses for the first time this winter cost £4.5m.
Mr Paterson toured the town with MP Harriett Baldwin. Both MPs paid tribute to the work of the Environment Agency for their work in helping people threatened by the bad weather.
Riverside communities along the Ouse in Yorkshire and Thames are among those most at risk from expected floods, the Environment Agency has said.
Groundwater levels are high in Berkshire, South Gloucestershire and parts of Lincolnshire and temporary flood defences remain in place along the Severn, including at Ironbridge and Upton.
Work is also taking place to ensure that rivers can drain and flow freely in other parts of southern England, including Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire, West and East Sussex, the Environment Agency has said.
The River Ouse in central York, which has flooded several times in the past few weeks, is currently more than 13ft (4m) above its average summer level after spilling over its banks again.
Pumps were being used to clear water from pubs, restaurants, homes and hotels along its banks today.
Many of the businesses hit were in the process of being renovated, having been shut since November's deluge.
Latest figures from the Environment Agency show that around 530 properties have flooded since December 19. The agency has also sent more than 136,000 warnings to people at risk of flooding and its 'Floodline' has received around 39,000 calls for help and advice.
Despite the improving weather conditions, the agency says there is still a risk of localised flooding over the next few days, as river and groundwater levels are still high.
Currently there are 72 flood warnings in place in the UK and 104 flood alerts. For further details visit the Environment Agency's website.