REMAINS of Mardale village are surfacing from Haweswater reservoir due to the exceptionally dry weather.

Amid talk of an Indian summer, farmers and tourism businesses are reaping the fine weather's benefits.

And as water levels drop at Haweswater, walkers are enjoying a rare glimpse of old stone field boundaries from the farming community that was flooded in the 1930s.

The Met Office says that just 6.2mm rain fell in south Cumbria during the first two weeks of September - only five per cent of the average rainfall for the month.

Mark Wilson, of the Met Office, told the Gazette it had been 'exceptionally dry so far'. Across the UK it has been the driest first half of September since records began in 1960, thanks to a prolonged spell of fine weather dominated by high pressure.

Levels at Haweswater reservoir have dropped to 54.3 per cent, making old field boundaries visible, said Polly Rourke, of United Utilities, adding: "It's not a level that's causing us concern."

The farming community of Mardale Green with its stone-built dwellings, church and inn was demolished in the1930s to make way for a reservoir to supply Manchester's water needs.

Meanwhile, farmers have been reaping the benefits of the settled weather, said farmer Trevor Wilson, a director at Junction 36 Auction Mart.

"Most of the farmers at the auction mart are telling me this is the best summer they've ever had," he told the Gazette.

Bumper crops have led to record low prices for cereals and a 30-year low for potatoes, said Mr Wilson, and from 'a working aspect' it had been the best spring and summer 'in living memory'.

"If it's rained on every day, livestock doesn't thrive and it takes a heck of a lot more looking after; every job you do is dirty. This year we've had rain when we needed it, which keeps the crops growing, and the prices tell you how good a year it's been."

Cumbria Tourism's managing director Ian Stephens described September's extended spell of good weather as 'an additional welcome boost to Cumbria's already strong autumn season'.