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Video: River Tone overspills to fill the Somerset Levels

Water spilling out of the River Tone onto the Somerset Levels, is not an unusual sight to see. Credit: ITV News

This video clip shows water spilling out of the River Tone into Currymoor on the Somerset Levels.

This is how the system is supposed to work when the river floods.

Up to 14 million cubic metres of water can be stored on the moor and pumped back into the river when the level drops.

Record numbers of starlings on Somerset Levels

Record numbers of starling have been roosting on the Somerset Levels this Winter Credit: ITV News

Record numbers of starling have been roosting on the Somerset Levels this Winter.

The flock of half a million starling were recorded by conservationists from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, who claim it was the biggest number they've seen for years.

Record numbers of starling have been roosting on the Somerset Levels this Winter. Credit: ITV News

Protecting Somerset from floods: Giant pumps tested

Giant pumps tested to help protect Somerset from flooding Credit: ITV News

The Environment Agency has been testing giant pumps designed to help reduce the risk of a repeat of last year's flooding on the Somerset Levels.

The pumps will be on permanent standby at Dunball, ready to suck more than a million tons of water day out of the King's Sedgemoor Drain.


Somerset Levels flood prevention work begins again

The Somerset Levels were badly flooded last winter. Credit: ITV News West Country

The second phase of flood prevention work at Beer Wall on the Somerset Levels starts this week.

Four new culverts will be placed under the A372 between Othery and Langport to allow water to pass under the road.

Work was completed last month to raise the route and prevent a repeat of last winter, when it was flooded for weeks.

Anti-flooding action plan in Somerset reaches second stage

Work is beginning on phase two of the action plan to try to prevent another flood on the scale of last year's crisis on the Somerset Levels.

After a £6 million dredging project, attention is turning to managing the land further upstream. The plans are to slow the flow of water into the river system by digging ponds and planting trees.

We always knew that we'd be working to more of a medium to long term solution which would be the management of the land so tackling some of the problem at the source rather than the symptoms, if you like, of the water.

– Ben Thorne, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group
Plans are being implement to slow the flow of water into the Levels

Flooding on the Somerset Levels a year on

Flooding on the Somerset Levels a year ago Credit: ITV News

This weekend marks a year since a "major incident" was declared on the Somerset Levels.

The worst floods ever seen there prompted huge support for local residents, some of whom have still not returned to normal life. But this winter many of them are looking forward with new confidence.

You look at it now and you can see that the river's flowing quite nicely. There's a big capacity there and I feel really happy to be living where we live.


Calls to end building on the floodplain

Flooding on the Somerset Levels last February Credit: PA

Insurers have warned flood defence spending must rise to a £1 billion a year over the next decade to prevent scenes like those which devastated Somerset last winter.

The Association of British Insurers is also calling for an end to building new homes in flood-risk areas.

It says some 20,000 new properties are being built on the floodplain each year, including 4,000 in places where there is significant risk of flooding.

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