Last month was substantially warmer and drier than March in previous years, with a maximum temperature of 18.8 degrees last Sunday and a total rainfall of 31.6mm, compared to an average of 54.5mm.

The figures, provided by Steeple Ashton-based amateur weatherman Geoff Witts, also show 17 days with little or no rainfall, following the wettest three-month period in 64 years this winter.