After a bitter winter of snow and ice, gardeners are being warned to prepare for drought and possible hosepipe bans.

Water could be in short supply this summer

The UK had 38 per cent less rain than normal in December.Snow failed to replenish underground water reserves.
Bristol Water said conditions were worse than those that preceded the great drought of 1976.
A statement said: “It may seem strange to have concerns about the coming year’s water resources as we recall the barbecue summer that never really was, and recover from ice and snow over Christmas.
“However, it’s worth recalling just how dry it was in 2010 in our area. You could even mention the word ‘drought’”.
The firm’s four reservoirs are 66, 75, 77 and 100 per cent full. Reservoirs in the North West are reported to be only 70 per cent full. They should be almost 100 per cent full at this time of year.
Water lost by burst pipes across the UK following the big freeze in December has contributed to the shortages.