What a difference a year makes.

Braintree and Witham has enjoyed unseasonably warm weather in the past week, but it was a very different story 12 months ago.

A covering of snow blighted the area through to the end of March, and forecasters warned residents they might be shivering until the summer.

But last weekend, with temperatures in Essex reaching 18C, some sun spotters may even have been tempted to start building up their tan.

Tom Defty, of the Essex Weather Centre, said: “We can’t say winter has been and gone because it never arrived.

“Spring is here and looking at the charts and forecasts for the next few weeks, it’s looking pretty good.

“Temperatures are going to be in double figures, which is above average."