How do you make some good come out of this sodden winter? The misery shows no sign of abating as more trees have been blown down during the past week, piling power cuts on top of the floods. Even at home in Hampshire, which has been spared compared to Somerset and the Thames Valley, I can’t drive north or west on the main roads due to flooding. But there is some good in it all. Communities have been thrown together, working as one with a common purpose. It’s brought out the best in the British mentality.

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The crisis will mean that the countryside will have a stronger voice in the future. Even the Tories, who seem to be have spent the past few years sleepwalking their way out of the countryside, can no longer ignore their rural voters and take them for granted.

It seems impossible that, a year ago, we were in the midst of a drought and I expect that we’ll soon be in one again, but now is the time to make the most of the high water table and plant trees. Plant them to replace the fallen, plant them to replace the threatened ash and plant them to make something good out of all this misery.

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