It’s shockingly bad that my last post (as it were) was at the beginning of the month, and now it’s the end of the month. Famine to feast, they say. After a year of very little paid work, I am now a little inundated. Ah well…the weather has been hell anyway. We’ve had such an endless network of storms coming off the Atlantic that it’s a wonder that we’re not all adrowneded. Some places not so far from here are of course in a terrible way. Years of no dredging on the Somerset Levels has left then facing inundations like they haven’t seen for 200 years. A technocratic decision by the Environment Agency some fifteen years ago that ‘dredging was not sympathetic to the landscape’ has left farms, their people and livestock, and whole villages cut off for weeks. It’s finally become a political embarrassment and once more dredging is on the cards. It’s all very well hoping for a landscape to return to nature, but when there are hundreds and hundreds of people and animals living on it, it seems a little late.
It does feel rather like the situation almost exactly a hundred years ago when the opposite was happening. Dredging in Start Bay which was ‘harmless’ eventually led to the destruction of at least one entire village (some say two) which fell into the sea one night after the same series of storms that we’ve been having of late. Night after night of pounding and then a final storm surge that carried away all the houses that faced the sea, and the following night the road that went through the village, which meant that most of the rest of the houses became uninhabitable too.
Last year at this time I was writing about the battering Beesands was getting – this eventually resulted in the collapse of the sea wall, a process that continued until about a week ago when very large trucks with very large stones began to trundle along the land at the top of the horse pasture. For days. The sea wall at Beesands is being fundamentally and massively rebuilt. It will last only a year or two, I expect.