April showers fizzle out

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Much of the parched South and East of England had their first April showers yesterday, but in most places it consisted of only a little light drizzle. Rainfall statistics for the past 50 years reveal that April is, on average, the driest month of the year despite its reputation for showers.

The exceptionally warm and dry weather has made many butterfly species appear on the wing up to a month earlier than normal, according to the wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation. The speckled wood, green hairstreak, grizzled skipper and dingy skipper are among early flyers.