Community spirit to the fore to help the village of Muchelney

Graham Walker carrying another batch of milk back into the village

Shaun Anderson, Vicky Simmonds and Jared Colclough

Environment Agency staff help out the people of Muchelney

First published in Taunton Somerset County Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

IT was the calm after the storm for most of us this week...except the people of Muchelney who are still cut off from the rest of the county.

The village, just south of Langport, was surrounded after the River Parrett burst its banks following heavy rain two weeks ago.

Two farmers on the village are currently providing a shuttle service for people hoping to reach dry land so that they can get to work or shop for food.

Graham Walker is one of the farmers using his tractor to help neighbours and said the water is not going anywhere fast.

He told the County Gazette: “The water level has dropped around a foot-and-a-half and we can get tractors and trailers down one of the roads but even then it is still too deep for cars.

“I just have to squeeze all the journeys in because I have animals on my farm to look after too – you end up pretty tired at the end of the day.”

One resident, Jim Woodbourne who has lived in the village for 73 years said the water level was the highest he had ever seen.

But community spirit has come to the fore and taxi driver Jared Colclough, 22, from Taunton, dusted off his speedboat that he normally uses in the summer for fun and took it to ASDA, who donated supplies he could take to the village.

He was helped out by friends Shaun Anderson, 23, and Vicky Simmonds, 20, with food donations coming from the general public, ASDA and some Taunton Deane councillors.

He said: “I just saw it on the news and thought how can I help? There is no sense of community these days so I wanted to change that. I was not too worried about getting wet or cold.”

Ironically, the old translation for Muchelney means ‘the increasingly great island’ and Mr Walker said the whole village has been astounded by the donations and support from people, describing it as ‘marvellous’.

The Environment Agency are pumping five tonnes of water per second from the Somerset Levels and Muchelney. A spokesman said they hope to re-open roads in the next few days and that they are working as fast as possible so people are not cut off.

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