Book Launch : Under the Surface - Somerset Floods, by Matilda Temperley

After the local floods, Matilda Temperley’s beautiful book of photographs


Under The Surface – Somerset Floods

The fabulous photographs of Matilda Temperley

with captions by the whole community

& an introduction by Michael Eavis

with cider by the Somerset Cider Brandy Company

Scroll down for publication details

Donations to FLAG - Flooding on the Levels Action Group most welcome

Just before Christmas 2013 fields across the Somerset Levels began to flood. This has happened countless times before but for the second year running the waters did not recede.

Two decades of neglect of a complex network of drainage ditches and man-made rivers meant that the winters subsequent record rainfall was unable to escape to the sea. For the first three weeks of this disaster, residents were effectively left to their own devices’ children were ferried to school on tractors,

while farmers were forced to evacuate animals trapped by rising flood water.

Over January and February 2014, the scene evolved from one of beauty and fun to a toxic landscape of dead animals, raw sewage, destroyed homes and ruined livelihoods.

The was a man-made disaster caused by the failure to maintain the balance between conservation and the flood defences that have survived for centuries. It is a lesson for which the people of Somerset have paid a high price.

This book documents the unique community of the levels and highlights the failures in river management, which led to this disaster. Images by photographer Matilda Temperley, captions by the community. Foreword by Michael Eavis of Glastonbury Festival.

2014Martin Keeley