Somerset Levels Dredging Completed

The dredging of an 8km stretch of the Rivers Parrett and Tone in Somerset has now been completed. The dredging was one of the first actions of the 20 year Somerset Flood Action Plan.

Map of the dredging schedule. Image: Environment Agency
Map of the dredging schedule. Image: Environment Agency

The dredging began in early April. Since then around 130,000 cubic metres of silt has been removed from the two rivers.

Deredging the River Parrett. Photo: Environment Agency
Dredging the River Parrett. Photo: Environment Agency

It is expected that the work will help reduce the likelihood and duration of flooding to properties on Curry Moor and North Moor, on the A361 road and the West Coast mainline railway, which was badly affected by the flooding earlier this year. However, the Environment Agency continues to emphasise that flooding on the Somerset Moors and Levels can never be prevented altogether.

Completed dredging at Moorland. Photo: Environment Agency
Completed dredging at Moorland. Photo: Environment Agency

Craig Woolhouse, Deputy Director of Flood Incident Management, said “We are now working closely with the Somerset Drainage Boards Consortium and Land and Water Services to share lessons learnt from this project. This information will help shape how this stretch of river is monitored and maintained in future.”

Environment Agency contractors will now begin to demobilise equipment and tidy up after the dredge, as well as complete other flood repairs, such as bank repairs to the River Parrett at Langport and Cocklemoorr and providing better access at Dunball to for additional pumps.

River Parrett stands out against the flooded fields, March 2014. Photo: Environment Agency
River Parrett stands out against the flooded fields, February 2014. Photo: Environment Agency