IT is almost a year since the big flood hit Tenbury and Ludlow.

Whilst there have been scares so far this winter has seen nothing like it but there is still time.

There is no need for people living in the two towns or the surrounding area to be told that last year was wet but just how wet was it?

The man with the answers is Derek Small, a farmer from Greete, who has been keeping is eye on the sky and checking his rain gauge and thermometer for more than 50 years.

“Last year was one of the wettest since I started keeping records,” said Mr Small.

It was one of only five occasions since 2000 when there were more than 40 inches (1000mm) of rain in the year.

However, there was, in fact slightly less rain than the year before.

This will come as a surprise to many but this is because of the way that the rain was distributed.

With the exception of April, the even months in 2020 were consistently wet whilst the uneven months were much dryer.

In February when the flooding was worst there were 173mm of rain where Mr Small lives but much of it was concentrated over just a few critical days.

His records show that August, October and December also saw more than 100mm of rain with August and December not far behind the February deluge.

Watching the weather for more than half a century Mr Small can see a clear trend.

“It is definitely getting wetter,” he said.

Back in 1970 the annual rainfall was 749mm or 29 inches, in the years from 1984 until 2000 that had increased to an average of 781mm (31 inches) and in the 20 years since the millennium, the annual average has been 807mm (more than 32 inches).

“It is getting wetter and warmer,” Mr Small added.

“We have not had a proper winter since the 1980’s.

“As a six-year-old, I can remember vaguely the very bad winter of 1947 and more clearly the big freeze of 1963.”