Above: What a difference Dredging makes - the extra capacity in the River Parrett is clear to see at Westonzoyland Pumping station.
The Environment Agency (EA) has kept its promise and completed the crucial 8km dredge of the Rivers Parrett and Tone following the devastating floods on the Somerset Levels last winter. Despite a very challenging timescale, the dredge has been finished on time. The Flooding on the Levels Action Group (FLAG) know that the dredge will make a real difference this winter and feel very positive about the work that has been done so far.
However there is still more work to be done though. FLAG says that the 8km section is a great start, but there must to be further dredging along the Parrett and Tone in the future to safeguard the Levels and ultimately Bridgwater and Taunton.
FLAG are concerned about the lack of commitment to ongoing maintenance. Currently there is no funding in place for the maintenance of the dredge, which has been estimated at just £100,000 per year. FLAG says it is vital that money is spent maintaining the rivers otherwise we run the risk of being in exactly the same position in a few years time.
FLAG wants a pledge from the Government, the EA and Somerset County Council that this year’s good work will be kept up and ideally the implementation of the Somerset Rivers Board will ensure just that.
In the meantime #KeepItUp.