Somerset’s still open for visitors!
Picture by Ian Brodie
As the world-famous Somerset Levels face the trauma of flooding after exceptional rainfall, Somerset Tourism Association has a message for all visitors who have Somerset in their hearts: ‘Come back and see us soon!’
Bob Smart, Chairman of the STA, said: ‘Our thoughts are with everyone on the Somerset Levels who is suffering from exceptional weather conditions for the second year running. Somerset is a county of contrasts, of exciting extreme landscapes, a place where remarkable things happen. The same natural forces which made the dramatic floodplain of the Levels such a magnet for visitors, such a haven for wildlife, and such a boon for farmers, are now turning against us. In bygone ages this occurred every winter. The Levels are at the heart of Somerset, but in wet weather we all retreated to the ranges of hills which circle the Levels.
‘Most of Somerset is still open for business, and the wetlands will reopen this Summer, as they always have. There is tremendous goodwill from our visitors towards Somerset, and from Somerset towards our visitors. We need you, and we’re waiting to welcome you. You can still book your summer holiday with us. It’s business as usual. Come and see us soon!’
The Somerset Levels are a wetland wildlife reserve of world importance, as well as an area where a traditional lifestyle is maintained in one of England’s remoter areas. King Alfred and King Arthur were both at home in the Levels. Timeless villages, towns and churches still occupy the tiny hills which once were islands in an inland sea. Some of the oldest prehistoric roads in the world were causeways between those islands. Willows, Somerset cider, Cheddar cheese and strawberries are the local commodities. The November Guy Fawkes Carnivals are known around the world. All visitors are welcome to an area where the pace of life is slower and the pressure is less.
‘Central government has now taken notice of the exceptional problems faced by Somerset in the current crisis, and we hope that relief for those affected by the floods, and for local businesses, will be on the way,’ Bob resumed. ‘I’m sure that all our friends around the world wish us well, and won’t allow our present difficulties to interfere with their plans to make Somerset their holiday destination for 2014.’
Issued by Bob Smart on behalf of the Somerset Tourism Association and Visit Somerset.
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