UK braced for drought after 'excessively dry' April

  • Video report by ITV News Wales and West of England Correspondent Rupert Evelyn

There are fears the UK could be braced for widespread drought this summer after "excessively dry conditions."

The Environment Agency said the UK saw just 35% of its normal rainfall in April and farmers have been warned crops could fail.

The unusual weather spell follows the driest winter since 1995-1996.

Minette Batters, Deputy President of the National Farmers' Union, told ITV News: "I think many of my farming colleagues in East Anglia, in the south east are seeing excessively dry conditions."

Farmer James Winslade told ITV News: "Arable farmers, grass farmers, dairy farmers - it doesn't make any difference. They're all worried.

"They've all cut grass earlier than they normally would have done and we haven't had the rain to get the grass and crops growing back".

Wimbleball Lake in Exmoor is only 90% full. Credit: ITV News

Rupert Evelyn said the water level at Wimbleball Lake in Exmoor is already "much lower than it was in 1995, when it was a drought year."

He added: "On the surface everything looks fine. But it's actually about 90% full."

The situation is repeated around the UK, with the River Derwent in Yorkshire - reportedly the wettest place in the country - bone dry, with spring barley in Somerset struggling to take hold through cracked clay.