A DROUGHT has been declared for some parts of England, as temperatures hit 35C - making the country hotter than parts of the Caribbean.

The National Drought Group, made up of Government and agency officials, water companies and other groups such as the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), met on Friday morning to discuss the issue.

Parts of the south west, southern and central England, as well as the east of England are to be moved into drought status, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said.

It comes as the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) warned that more parts of Scotland are now at "significant" water scarcity.

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While Scotland's temperatures have not reached the highs seen in England, there are still concerns over the impact of dry weather across the country.

The parts of Fife and the Borders shown in red above are at significant scarcity levels, which means Sepa is able to suspend abstraction licences in order for resources to remain at a sustainable level.

"We are suspending water abstractions for most licence holders in mid and north Fife as river and groundwater levels become critical in the east of Scotland," Sepa announced on Friday. 

"Abstractors in the Tweed catchment are also being contacted to confirm next steps and any licence suspensions in this area will take effect early next week.  Suspensions are predominantly within the agriculture sector, will be for the minimum time necessary and will be lifted as soon as possible."

READ MORE: Climate change causing increased water scarcity in east Scotland

The areas shown in orange on the map, which includes the Deveron, Ythan, Dee and Don catchments, and the Firth of Forth, Almond, and Tyne areas, are at moderate scarcity.

"The dry weather means there has been no improvement in areas already at moderate scarcity and alert status," Sepa said in its report. "Ground conditions have continued to dry out and long-term rainfall deficits remain, with river flows widely remaining very low."

They added: "Sepa is monitoring the situation closely and coordinating steps to manage water resources in line with Scotland's National Water Scarcity Plan."

On Thursday, new satellite images revealed parts of Scotland's east coast and Borders areas appear visibly parched.

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A wildfire warning is in place for the next four days, with the risk being “very high” in some parts of Scotland.

Parts of England have already seen the driest July on record for some areas and the driest first half of the year since 1976.

Now that drought has been declared, the Environment Agency and water companies are able to implement more of their plans to manage the impacts of low water levels, which can include actions like hosepipe bans.

By Friday afternoon, temperatures are to soar as high as 35C in southern areas of England, which will be hotter than the Bahamas, Jamaica and Barbados.

A four-day amber warning for extreme heat from the Met Office is in place for much of England and Wales until Sunday, with warnings of health impacts and disruption to travel.

READ MORE: Met Office in extreme heat warning for England and Wales while Scotland avoids high temperatures

The ongoing dry conditions, combined with last month’s record-breaking heatwave, have depleted rivers, reservoirs and aquifers and dried up soils, hitting agriculture, water supplies and wildlife and raising the risk of wildfires.

Four water companies in England and Wales had earlier brought in hosepipe bans or signalled their intention to do so, while the Wildlife Trusts have called for an England-wide hosepipe ban to protect nature and rivers.

Some water companies have failed to meet their own targets for cutting household leaks and domestic use, with many blaming the coronavirus pandemic as more people have been at home.