A NEW report on better ways to tackle the floods which devastated communities on the Somerset Levels has been released by the Bishop of Taunton.

The Rt Rev Peter Maurice completed a walkabout of communities which suffered the worst of the winter floods yesterday morning (Monday) with a visit to Moor-land, where many people had to be evacuated.

There was also a trip to the dredging project on the River Parrett which is being completed to help prevent future floods.

The report, called Fact, Feeling and Future, was officially launched at St Peter & St Paul’s Church in Moor-land at 11.30am yesterday.

When the water levels rose in January and February, local churches were at the forefront of the flood relief effort.

While working as part of the relief effort, report authors Simon Taylor, Rob Walrond and Annie Gurner gathered first-hand accounts from residents and farmers whose homes and lives were devastated by the floods, as well as clergy who were supporting them.

The result is a striking snapshot of the impact and implications on local people with 20 clear recommendations for action at national, regional and grass roots level.

Included in the report is an emotional appeal the Bishop made in February to drum up support for stricken families.

He says in the letter to the clergy: “Despite the admirable community spirit there is a real practical privation alongside heartbreak and a sense of hopelessness for farmers, businesses and householders.

“I want to encourage you please to consider two ways in which your church may do something about this and show solidarity with these stricken communities.”

The aim of the report is to ensure that churches can respond even more effectively to future flooding to help communities become resilient in the long-term.