Euston: Summer crops saved by surge in rainfall

THE RECENT surge in rainfall – which followed a prolonged dry spell which plunged parts of the region into a state of drought – has saved this year’s crops at a leading Suffolk estate.

Staff at Euston Park in Euston, near Thetford, were bracing themselves for a poor harvest as their reservoir dropped to just half full.

Speaking to the EADT, Henry FitzRoy, the 12th Duke of Grafton, said: “We started this year with a disaster on the horizon for our vegetables.

“The reservoir was half full and we weren’t allowed to fill it up. Our estate has been very vocal in trying to raise awareness on water conservation.

“Then we had this huge amount of rainfall which has been greatly welcomed.

“It is so important, you’ve got to have water and especially in April and May. That is exactly when the rains came.”

He said the estate was now looking forward to a decent harvest this year.

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A hosepipe ban remains in force for domestic customers across the region.

The ban was introduced by Anglian Water on April 5 – though commercial water users were spared in order to prevent an adverse economic impact.

Despite the wettest April on record, with heavy rain continuing throughout May, East Anglia is still in drought after two exceptionally dry winters.

The water-saving restrictions will remain in place for the rest of the water firm’s 4.2 million domestic customers.

The wettest April on record led to the River Gipping and Deben bursting their banks and the Environment Agency issuing flood warnings for several Essex rivers.

Anglian Water said the wettest April on record would not “fundamentally change” the region’s drought-like conditions.

Anglian Water said the rain would take a long time to have an impact on stocks.