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At a recent hugely successful Parliamentary reception hosted by the Sustainable Soil Alliance attended by 200+ plus people (including Martin Stanley of Reimagining the Levels), the Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove, stunned us all with his understanding of the serious issues facing our soils in the UK.  You can watch his speech here and we've included a sample of the press coverage.  

Article 1
Article 2
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And watch
the Gove’s speech to us, which all the papers are quoting. 

The Guardian: How Labour could lead the global economy out of the 20th century George Monbiot. 

George Monbiot argues for a new political movement, built on new economic and social foundations read the article here.

The Guardian: What would an entirely flood-proof city look like?

This article provides detail of some innovative and imaginative methods of flood protection being applied to cities across the world.  Governments and Local Authorities now recognise the need to use scarce funding for multiple purposes i.e. the effects of 'extreme weather events', increasing urbanisation and budget constraints can see flood resilience combined with recreational and functional amenities that benefit the environment and citizens together.

Climate Change in Somerset – People and Nature. 

The Reimagining the Levels group, in its October 2016 report ‘Making the Connections’, highlighted the critical part that climate change will play in shaping the future of the Somerset Levels and Moors.  This analysis included conservative projections for sea level rise and alternating extremes of drought and rainfall.  This section of the report concluded: “We need a fuller and more ambitious assessment of what public bodies, business, communities and individuals can and should do to adapt to severe weather events and flooding”.

Steve Mewes and Adrian Tait of the RtL team are proposing to act on this need by commissioning a new report with our partners.  Whilst (as Lord Stern emphasises) mitigation is essential and we must all play our part in that, the thrust of the project will be towards adaptive preparation for Somerset.  The aim will be to challenge inadequate policy and vision at a local government level and to develop as wide as possible a sense of common cause amongst the people and organisations that will not only be affected by climate change, but have the power to pursue action.

You can read about this proposal in more detail in our briefing document which will be available soon.   

The 9th of June: The Guardian.
'Let's expose everyday climate denial' - Read the full article here

The Switch: A talk by Chris Goodall. 
Monday the 26th Of June - 6.30pm till 8.30pm. 
Quaker Meeting House, bath Place, Taunton, Ta1 4EP - Doors open at 6pm with light refreshments.
£3 entry on the door to cover costs. 

Chris Goodall will cover the subject of his latest book The Switch. He will explain why a rapid transition to renewable energy is essential, affordable & technically feasible. 
Followed by questions and discussion - Chris is a good speaker and renoened expert on new energy technologies with a website:

The 1st of June 2017: The Guardian.
'Nine Tenths of Englands floodplains are not fit for purpose, study finds' 

Read the full article here -

November 2016.
We had a successful launch of our Report 'Re-Imagining the Levels' at an Open Space event in November held at The Red Brick Building Glastonbury.

This was attended by individuals and representatives from many local organisatons involved in conservation, farming and environmental work on the Levels. Since November we have been busy behind the scenes. We know that to take things forward based on the Reimagining the Levels Report and its recommendations, we need to work with as many supportive organisations and individuals as possible.

We very much hope that you will be able to share the essence of the report with colleagues if you are an organisation, or friends if you are an individual; and speak to them about any follow up actions that you might be able to act on. If you would like a presentation from members of the Reimagining the Levels team please ask. 
We plan to have a campaign of lobbying politicians and organisations who can influence policy that relates to land management, agriculture and flooding. Priority issues will be a post Brexit replacement for the Common Agricultural Policy and also the future development of the role of the Somerset Rivers Authority. We will circulate a list of proposed actions relating to this in the near future. 
We have set up a Community Benefit Society called Reimagining the Levels Ltd and its priorities for initial action are:
  • to support initiatives in the local food and farming sector which foster links between producers, consumers and the landscape
  • to enable actions which lead to more tree and woodland planting, and allow people to engage with their local landscape through this
  • to build a network of support for new enterprises and entrepreneurs which support the creation of livelihood through sustainable management of the Levels and their catchment
  • to support the celebration of our landscape through the arts 
We would also ask if at all possible for you to create a link from your organisation's website to our website and the report. The link is:
The RTL Team