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Norwich club's sporting event among first victims of drought

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Sporting events could be some of the first to feel the heat, as some parts of Norfolk enter a period of official drought.

Parts of west Norfolk were included in a drought announcement from the Environment Agency yesterday after eastern England was the driest place in the country last month.

Lawns in the city’s parks and open spaces have been looking brown and dry, and showers yesterday did little to refresh the parched earth. Pilling Park, popular with local sportsmen, and Chapelfield Gardens are among the areas where grass is showing the strain.

One of the first events that had to be cancelled because of the drought was the Eastern Centre Motocross Championship round due to be held at Cadders Hill at Lyng, near Dereham, tomorrow. The Norwich Viking Motorcycle Club has cancelled on safety and environmental grounds as the circuit has not had any significant rainfall since February 13.

Meanwhile Norwich City Council says its parks can cope with drought.

A spokesman said: “As part of work that we have been doing in recent years, because the weather has been getting drier and drier, our approach to horticulture work has been to use drought-tolerant flowers such as South African geraniums. We are always trying to be economically friendly with our water whenever we can now anyway, such as with the water play feature at Waterloo Park – we have made arrangements so that we gather used water and use it to water the bowls greens.”

If restrictions do come into place, even Norfolk Fire Service will have to watch their water levels for non-emergency consumption such as cleaning fire engines. Group manager Stuart Horth said: “In terms of our operational activities the hydrant supply would be maintained and we are confident we would be able to deliver our normal service. In the event of there not being a local hydrant available we have bulk water carriers and high volume pumping equipment.”

He added that people must be extra careful if lighting a bonfire or fireworks. “Our message is simple; we live in a beautiful, scenic county which is there to be enjoyed, especially in the sunny weather, but please follow our advice and stay safe.”

An Anglian Water spokesman said: “There’s not going to be a hosepipe ban.”

Has the dry weather had a big impact on you? Call David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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