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Waters of Somerset - 'February Fill Dyke woz 'ere'

Tuesday 2 April
by wjhall
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Mid-March, and a quick trip to see the receding winter floods on the Somerset Levels, with "February Fill Dyke woz 'ere" still graffittied across the landscape.

South along Weston promenade and out through the Walborough reserve to pass Brent Knoll, continuing south from Mark before turning east across Tealham Moor where the evidence of a wet winter is still draining away, then back north up Jack Drove to find water still flowing off the Wedmore ridge. Through the outskirts of Wedmore and long the middle road to the Allertons and Weare descending Sparrow Hill to pass the church and older part of the village. Then a dog leg through Cross and up to the Strawberry Line for a smooth run back through Shute Shelve tunnel to Yatton station.

A short detour to the seats at Ashton windmill for a picnic sandwich with view. Inns and cafes also in Wedmore, Winscombe and other villages.

Generally quiet roads. Crossing the A38 south of Brent Knoll is easy with patience, this section is dual carriageway with a wide central reservation. (Crossing in the reverse direction requires walking, northbound is signed left turn only) The short section of A38 from Weare to the old carriage road to Cross can almost be done before distant traffic catches up, or just walk on the pavement. Climbing from Cross to above Axbridge can be quiet, but can have quarry lorries. I looked longingly at the possibility of walking up the A38 pavement to the Strawberry Line, but the pavement is narrow and on the downhill side. If a better access from the Strawberry Line to Cross can be devised it would be welcome.

This outing is based on the Avonmouth to Weston train service which currently runs hourly during the day.

Water ebbing down the beach - neap tide at Weston-super-Mare:

A dry place - Mark church tower, a village on a little bump above the levels:

Water in the fields - Tealham Moor - Flooded fields with the end of the Wedmore ridge in the background:

Waters of Avalon - Jack's Drove with North Drain overflowing - Glastonbury Tor in the background:

Water still draining from the hills - Jack's Drove at Heath House:

Water seeping through the ground - Shute Shelve tunnel - a 150 year old concretion and underground rain:

Water back in its place - finally, north of the Mendips,  the Congresbury Yeo: