As noted under the subject of risks, our farm like all others has to cope with whatever weather comes our way. There is rarely the ideal year when we see reasonable rain in the winter, sun and some showers in the spring, reasonably hot summers again with a sprinkling of rain and an autumn that is dry enough to allow the crops, notably for us the maize, to grow and be brought in.
Given the importance of weather we have our own weather station. This measures most of the things that we need to monitor. We bought the station in 2009 and added the UV and Solar equipment in 2011.
Everyone in the UK knows that the winters of 2012 and 2013 saw record rainfall. In the calendar year of 2012, our weather station recorded 1,072mm of rainfall. This was 56% more than the average of the previous three years. This rainfall, whilst excessive, allowed our water table to built up after years of depletion. In 2013, we saw 1,075mm of rainfall. (How interesting it is that is was so similar to the previous year!) The real problem we had, as did the rest of country, is that having seen the watertable being built up in 2012, in 2013 the water table rose to the surface of the soil. It followed that the rain that fell had nowhere to go except to run off. Since then this has continued to be the case.
At Henden, much of our land is on a slope and so we have no flooding to talk of. To help ensure that we continue not to have flooding we do our best to ensure the main ditches are cleared every year. Ditching is important work. For us a key problem is soil erosion. A lot of our top soil is simply moved down into the ditches and into our silt traps and moat. Two of our fields, too, towards the north end of the estate have seen and continue to experience significant land slippage.
The charts in this section show samples of our weather data by month over the period April 2012 to April 2018. They are there for illustrative purposes. We have more information on our weather data in the "Henden Database" (at the bottom of the sheet). This is accessed under "About Henden" and then "Data on Henden".