The Royal Bath and West of England Society announced they would start a Somerset Levels Relief Fund in September 2013. Since then the Society has brought together the various bodies and agencies involved, including farmers, the Environment Agency, Internal Drainage Boards, Somerset County Council, the NFU and conservation bodies.
A working group now meets regularly to address this important issue. The Royal Bath and West brought them together in order to show the funds and charities that will be approached that good farming practice and conservation can co-exist. Past ineffectiveness of Government agencies has contributed to the current problems, and as was feared the flooding of 2012 has occurred again due to the clogged up rivers on the levels of Somerset.
The Royal Bath and West Somerset Levels Relief Fund Trustees are assured that all parties involved can learn from past mistakes. Dredging and continued maintenance for sustainability is essential in a rural area that is 20% farmable land in the county of Somerset.
“We are pleased to announce that in this New Year we will be starting the fund off with pledges from supporters of our own Society. It is hoped that Council and Society Members and other supporters will be the first to contribute to our fund. We have already raised between £15 and £20K which is an encouraging start. It will enable our newly appointed fundraisers to illustrate our own commitment before they begin to secure donations from other contributors,” they announced.
Press Release, January 15, 2014