Recent rains ‘good news for farmers and wildlife’

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Parts of England are no longer in drought following heavy rain in recent weeks, the Environment Agency has said.

Drought status has been lifted in 19 areas of south-west England, the Midlands and parts of Yorkshire following persistent rainfall, but eastern and south-east England remain in drought because groundwater levels remain low.

Hosepipe bans imposed by seven water companies on customers across south-eastern and eastern England remain in place and water restrictions are still in force in drought-affected regions.

The BBC's Jeremy Cooke said that a very wet April had been "good news for wildlife... good news too for farmers", but that a third dry winter in 2012-2013 would be a real cause for concern.

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