December 2010 the water table for a large area of the Somerset
Levels and Moors was raised by as much
as 18 inches to create ‘winter splash’ for the benefit
of both flora and fauna but particularly over-wintering wading birds.
designated area – covering 2000 hectares of the Brue Valley
– was to be kept under water from November to May each year
and farmers who were affected drew Environmental Stewardship Scheme
payments from English Nature of up to £355 per hectare plus
Brue Valley drainage plan was supported by Government, Natural England,
The Environment Agency and the EU and spent in
the region of £2 million installing new sluices to raise and
maintain the water table across twelve Sites of Special Scientific
Interest (SSSI) situated on the Somerset moors.
Drainage Board claimed at the time that the new gear would allow
them to have better control of water levels in the event of flooding;
allowing them to move water more efficiently but this simply has
not been the case.
the water table on the moors been at natural (lower) level before
the rain came they could inevitably have coped with more water and
the environment benefits could still have been achieved.
amongst yourselves …