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Voles to be trapped as Somerset Levels rivers dredged

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: August 18, 2014

Voles on the Somerset Levels will be trapped and removed from the path of dredgers

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The Environment Agency is to trap and move water voles on the river Tone over the next week to ensure that vital dredging is not delayed and that the protected species is not harmed during its works.

The agency began dredging four kilometres each of the rivers Tone and Parrett at the end of March after Prime Minister David Cameron pledged in the House of Commons that long-neglected dredging would take place in the wake of the winter's disastrous floods on the Somerset Levels.

The agency is due to complete the work by the end of October and on Friday said it has now dredged four kilometres of river and has reached the half-way point.

It has approximately 77,500 more cubic metres of silt to remove and is on course to complete the work on schedule.

High winds earlier in the month prevented the planned installation of a pontoon on the River Parrett at Westonzoyland Pumping Station using a large crane.

But the crane was able to undertaking the work on Friday.

Once the pontoon is installed floating dredging plant will complete further dredging in the Parrett.

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