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West Country (W)

Farmer calls for EA compensation

A farmer from Somerset says contractors used by the Environment Agency have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to his land - and he hasn't received any compensation.

James Hall's yard at Northmoor was used to store vehicles and building equipment during the flooding on the Levels. Now he's been told that the Environment Agency plans to use his land again.

West Country (W)

Flood farmer in dispute with Environment Agency

James Hall on his farm in Somerset Credit: ITV West Country News

A farmer from Somerset says he's been insulted by the Environment Agency after they threatened to bring cranes onto his land without his permission.

James Hall's yard at Northmoor was used by contractors during the flooding on the Somerset Levels causing around £8,500 worth of damage.

Now the Agency need to use the space again to remove pumps from a nearby river. But James says he can't afford any more disruption.

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1,000 homes in Bridgwater face flooding risk

The Environment Agency says around a thousand homes on the edge of Bridgwater are now at risk as the flooding crisis in Somerset deepens. Around 150 homes in villages on the Somerset Levels are currently affected.

The Agency says it's building an earth bank at Northmoor about a mile from Bridgwater as part of efforts to protect the town.

Environment Agency faces difficult choices

There has been strong reaction to an article today by the chairman of the Environment Agency, Lord Smith, saying that difficult decisions about spending on flood defences will mean choosing between "front rooms or farmland".

Our Political Correspondent Bob Constantine says this sort of comment is not likely to go down well with people under water on the Somerset Levels. A question he posed to Pete Fox, an Environment Agency spokesman

PICTURE: Fighting to save fish at Cheltenham lake

Hosepipes set up to try to save hundreds of fish from dying at Pittville Lake Credit: ITV News West Country

Thank goodness there isn't a hosepipe ban in Cheltenham where the Environment Agency hopes spraying fresh water into Pittville Lake will save some of its fish, which are dying in droves.

Staff have spent the night manning the pumps, trying to re-oxygenate the lake.

In the meantime, people and dogs are being warned to stay well away from the water for their own safety.

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Cheltenham Borough Council statement:

We know from tests that the oxygen levels in the lake had dropped considerably, so the Environment Agency is recirculating water into the lake in an effort to stabilize oxygen levels.

Low oxygen levels could be due to a number of factors linked to environmental conditions such as decomposing algae or sediment stirred up by recent storms.

The surviving fish now have areas which are oxygenated and we will continue to work with the Environment Agency to make sure that oxygen levels stay at the required level.

Although tests for blue-green algae have returned negative, we would still like to remind people that there is no fishing on the lake until further notice to allow for the clean-up operation."

– Janice Peacey, Community Ranger
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