Ricky and John, the Newsround snowman
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Does building snowmen help prevent flooding?

24 January 2013 Last updated at 14:44 GMT

The Environment Agency changed its mind on Thursday, saying that building snowmen wouldn't significantly reduce the risk of flooding.

A spokesman had said that building snowmen could reduce the risk, because compacted snow melts more slowly.

But the agency has now confirmed that snowmen won't make much difference.

It says that while building snowmen is great fun, it's unlikely to make a big enough difference to the overall rate at which the snow melts.

An interesting theory

But some experts have said that there is some truth in the idea.

Dr Dr Sim Reaney, a geography expert at the University of Durham, says: "The more you pile up snow, the longer it takes to melt.

But, he says, there's so much snow all over the country, "if everybody made a snowman, it doesn't actually take up that much snow."

To significantly reduce the risk of flooding, it seems we'd all have to build many millions of snowmen.

Not sure how to make a snowman? Check Newsround's handy guide!

Image caption Tom, Jack and Eve from West Yorkshire sent us this picture of their snowmen

By the amount of pictures you've been sending us of snowmen - it's obvious you guys still love making them.

Check out more of your snowmen pictures