photos: Water Minister makes visit to Somerset wetlands
Minister Richard Benyon this week visited the Burnham-On-Sea area
to see work being undertaken by the Somerset Drainage Boards to
manage water in the county's wetlands.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Natural Environment and Fisheries
was shown around several parts of Sedgemoor on Tuesday (April
24th) where the Parrett Drainage Board has modernised water level
management systems for wetland wildlife and farming.
Brewin, from the Highbridge-based drainage board told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"We have been working with farmers, and conservation organisations
like the RSPB, to change the way we manage water in important
wetlands on the Levels."
"This has taken a long time to achieve, but we are finally
seeing the benefits of having more flexible and efficient water
management systems for responding to both droughts and floods."
heavy rain in recent days, the visit coincided with increasing
concerns about environmental drought.
RSPB's Tony Whitehead added: "With an environmental drought
declared recently, everyone is keenly aware how precious water
is and the RSPB welcome calls
for its wise use."
drainage boards have done a lot of good work recently to ensure
water is where it needs to be on the Levels, working for both
wildlife and for farmers. The RSPB congratulates them, and welcomes
the ministers endorsement through this visit."
"The last two years have been exceptionally dry and if the
drought continues, it will start to take its toll on wetlands
in the region with dry conditions threatening to impact this spring's
breeding season in places such as the Somerset Levels. These are
some of the last remaining homes in our countryside for breeding
water birds such as snipe, redshank and lapwing."