THE first day that non-essential shops were able to reopen in Ludlow and south Shropshire saw footfall was slow because of heavy overnight snow.

This was the tone for a month that has seen cold and dry weather.

Derek Small, who has been watching the weather for more than half a century, said that April is usually a dry month as is May.

Mr Small, who farms in Greete, said that most of the rainfall for the month of April actually fell as snow but otherwise it has been typically dry.

But it has also been a very cold month.

Nationally forecasters say that every night in April, somewhere in the United Kingdom, there was frost and this has been a feature across Ludlow and south Shropshire and Tenbury and the Teme Valley.

At this time of year sunny days with clear skies are often accompanied by cold nights.

“It has been so cold that the grass has not been growing,” said Mr Small and this has consequences for cattle farmers.

“What we need is some warmth and a good fall of rain.”

But with May historically dry this is not likely.

The earlier part of the year was much dryer than in 2020 when devastating rainfall resulted in widespread flooding, especially in Tenbury and low lying parts of Ludlow resulting in major disruption.