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Monday, May 20, 2024
The Parrett Catchment Project


Climate change may be a global concern, but its effects will very much be felt at the local level.


The summer floods of 1997 and the prolonged flooding of 1999/2000 proved that the Parrett catchment’s river and drainage system cannot cope in extreme weather events, and the likelihood of increased stormy conditions, combined with rising sea levels will make the problem of flooding much greater over the next few decades.


As such, local agencies and people came together in 2000 to form the Parrett Catchment Project (PCP), whose aim it is to take action to address the issue of flooding now, rather than storing up problems for the future.


Photograph  of the River Parrett  during  full flood

The Parrett catchment is a large area (1690 Square kilometres), which includes not only the River Parrett itself, but also its main tributaries - the Tone, Isle, Cary and Yeo. The area also contains the major urban areas of Taunton, Bridgwater and Yeovil and the internationally significant Somerset Levels and Moors. It is economically, culturally, archaeologically, agriculturally, and environmentally significant, with numerous international, national and local designations of land use.


This diversity means that efforts to address flooding have to consider a variety of concerns, be they from individuals, communities, farmers, businesses or other organizations. The PCP is a partnership of 27 organizations, which reflect the diversity of issues and shape the work of the project to ensure the activities of every single organization are coordinated and contribute to the objectives of the whole.


There is no single organisation which can tackle the problem of flooding alone, so there is no single solution. After early consultations, twelve areas of action were established, which, when combined, will make a significant contribution to reducing the adverse effects of flooding.


They are:

  1. Changes to agricultural land management

  2. Creating temporary flood storage areas on farmland

  3. Controlling runoff from development

  4. Creating new wetland habitats

  5. Dredging and maintaining river channels

  6. Raising riverbanks

  7. Upgrading pumping stations

  8. Spreading floodwater across the moors

  9. Building a tidal sluice or barrier downstream of Bridgwater

  10. Upgrading channels to enhance gravity drainage

  11. Restricting new development on the floodplain

  12. Woodland development

Please view this site using our easy-to-navigate structure to find out more information.

What's New

The new Water Management Partnership for Somerset
The latest on the new partnership that integrates all aspects of water management.

River Festival 2007
French Weir Park, Taunton, Somerset.
September 2007 will see the river come alive once again with various craft.

Free Education Resource
"Investigating Rivers" and "What's Challenging the Parrett?"

The Big Sponge Campaign
View the results of our public campaign, which has now closed:


The Big Sponge Logo


Hot Topics

Who We Are
This section provides detailed information about the structure of the PCP and who belongs to it, as well as the philosophy behind partnership working.


How We Work
This section provides information about the funding of the project and the processes that are taking place to further the PCP’s aims.


Where We Work
This section provides a detailed description of the area, with an map showing the locations where work has been undertaken to pursue the objectives of the project.


What We Are Doing
This section is divided into themed areas providing information about the changes being undertaken and promoted to rural land, water management and urban development. Includes an updated section on awareness raising.


What You Can Do
This section consists of advice for farmers, urban developers, communities, schools and individuals, all of whom can play different and significant parts in helping to reduce flood risk. There are also links to further websites that provide advice on how to adapt to flooding.



This site is hosted by Somerset County Council and funded by the EU Joint Approach for Managing Flooding (JAF Project).