Wettest January since records began

Somerset Levels

Somerset Levels

January 2014 is not yet over, but we are already seeing it as the wettest January for the south of England in a century.

January is usually dry and cold.

Parts of the south of England, have seen double the average January rainfall.

There has been heavy rain all week, and more heavy rain is forecast for the weekend.

We have to accept that areas like the Somerset Levels have to be allowed to flood and more effort made to retain water upstream, in upland areas. We have to in the long term not only re-afforest our upland areas, but also rewild these areas.

We are seeing a phenomena knowns as Global Weirding, Global Warming and Climate Chaos kicking in, extremes of weather across the world

  • England and Wales — very wet winter, heavy rainfall, ground saturated, floods
  • USA and Canada — polar vortex, extremely cold, sub-zero temperatures
  • Australia — extreme heat, forest fires, temperatures in excess of 40C

The farmers who are complaining their land is flooded in the Somerset Levels, and yes, we can understand their complaint and sympathise, have to accept that they have to change their farming practises to work with land that regularly floods. Not listen to the so-called experts, cited on the front page of the Daily Mail (Wednesday 29 January 2014), if only the rivers had been dredged.

If we dredge rivers, we simply send water faster downstream.

Why are rivers becoming silted? Because valuable topsoil is being washed off the fields into the rivers due to bad land use practices.

Corrupt councils, officials and councillors in the pocket of developers, have been allowing development to take place on flood plains.

In hilly areas, we have sheep and deer overgrazing, compacting what little soil there is. In other areas, heather is burnt to suit grouse.

The net result is, heavy rain, runs off the land, off the hills, into the rivers causing flooding downstream.

A simple calculation would show, dredge the rivers flowing through the Somerset Levels calculate the additional flow, calculate the amount of water flooding the Somerset Levels, and the Levels would still have flooded.

UK rainfall

UK rainfall

3 Responses to “Wettest January since records began”

  1. The Editors of Garden Variety Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your article.

  2. keithpp Says:

    A farmer on the Somerset Levels said it all: within hours of heavy rain falling on the hills, the water level in the Levels rises.

    What this tells us, we must deal with the hills, slow the flow rate of the water downstream.

    But at the end of the day, the Somerset Levels must be allowed to flood. Farmers must change their farming practices, and villages must accept, during heavy rain, they are going to be cut off.

    What we must do, is mitigate the worst affects of the flooding, retain water upstream, and provide help when needed to those cut off, not as we have done, wait six weeks before help is provided.

  3. keithpp Says:

    And yet more rain …

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