EAST Lancashire residents have been enjoying blue skies and glorious sunshine over the past few days – 12 months on from blizzards.

Daffodils and tulips are in full bloom, and towns and villages have been bathed in spring sunshine. But while spring has sprung relatively early this year, this time last year the weather in East Lancashire was very different.

Last March, schools were forced to shut because of the snow, and blizzards brought travel chaos and road closures across the county. Last year’s extreme March weather conditions were also blamed to the death of a Burnley man.

Gary Windle, 25, from Briercliffe, was found dead in deep snow after collapsing in a blizzard when returning home from a night out.

March 2013 also saw some of the heaviest snow in East Lancs for decades, with several snow ploughs and gritters even getting stuck and having to be rescued.

While summer might not be here quite yet, the sunny skies are expected to last at least until the end of the week.