There are the first signs of spring in Moorland in Somerset. Cherry trees and hawthorn are beginning to blossom in the warm sunshine.
But the indelible stain of this relentless winter is all around. A filthy tide-mark, showing the high water point is traced across every building. Many are already being stripped ready for a complete renovation. But the work will take months.
Many residents told me they are concerned that the promises of dredging and a flood barrage in Bridgwater won’t be completed in time to prevent further flooding next winter.
They face an impossible dilemma of leaving their damaged houses as they are or risk the expensive renovation being ruined in a few months.
Bryony Sadler is one resident whose house was flooded. Her garden is suffocated in a tide of debris that is staggering to look at.
We visited her as loss assessors were wandering from room to room noting what needs to be done. All the plaster will have be to laboriously chipped off, the floorboards lifted, the kitchen ripped out and everything will need steam cleaning.
She has two children aged three and six who have been profoundly affected by being forced out of their home without many of their familiar possessions.
She’s been told she’ll have to move out of the holiday let her family are living in ahead of the Easter break, meaning they’ll have to pack up again and find somewhere else to move to temporarily, while the work to repair their home continues.
She seems to be at her wits’ end.
Across the village there are dozens of families in her pitiful position. Most the houses in Moorland remain empty – the police and specialist flood repair teams are the only sign of life along the main street.
The water surged into the nineteenth church in the centre of the village, the water so polluted it stripped the varnish from the pews.
The organ has fallen victim to the flood; repairing it will cost thousands. But despite the massive task ahead the people here are stoically doing what they can.
John Lang is a local farmer and church warden who says the disaster has brought the community together, bound them with a common purpose to renew and rebuild.
He only hopes the church will be open in time for Easter Sunday, giving the this rural community something positive to look forward to after such a shattering few weeks.