News from the Levels 5


Moorland Church by Matilda Temperley

Moorland Church by Matilda Temperley

Matilda Temperley’s photograph for edition 5.

Read more about Matilda's project on Kickstarter.


Stories from residents on the Levels ...

LabradorA Dog Walker
"Labradors are famously water dogs, but our Poppy soon got fed up with the floods. Whatever happened to those long walks to Muchelney and the delicious smells along the disused railway path from Westover? The one advantage was that the lack of dry ground had sent hundreds of hares scurrying into the high fields. So hare chasing was some slight compensation for curtailed walks, and she was able to get twice the exercise in half the time. I’m glad to say that she never caught one."
Ros Carne, dog walker.

A Flooded Resident of Thorney
"We live in Thorney close to Muchelney. We watched with dread as the moor filled up over a couple of weeks, knowing that the Environment Agency wouldn’t be pumping us. It came in inch by inch, like water torture. The night before it came we had the sofa on bricks and I remember watching telly. That evening was like the last supper. The next morning, the carpet was grey from the pool of water underneath. It took about 3 days for us to have 10” of water downstairs. Our house is high so, while it was 10” in the house, it was hip deep in the road. We went out in waders to our vehicle, parked 50 metres away, above the flood. Everyone in the village stayed in their house, apart from one family with young children. Our electricity was OK; the sockets were quite high, and we only lost one circuit. The biggest problem was sanitation. Bags to use instead of toilets; people don’t talk much about that. About a month after the waters came in, the Council provided a chemical toilet. About that time people started arriving – social workers, police, army, fire brigade – asking if we were alright. It was quite strange, particularly the social workers, head on one side, looking sympathetic. Box-ticking really. I suppose we were victims, but we didn’t feel like victims. We just got on with it."
Roddy and Holly Baillie-Grohman