IN RESPONSE to Ken Bowen’s letter: A century too late.

The original navigators (navvies) who dug the reens on the Gwent Levels were probably ‘local lads’ - “employed” by their Roman overlords, in the second and third century AD. 

Back in those times there were probably many streams (and a river or two) flowing across the Levels. 

In 1608, a tsunami travelled along the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary, causing catastrophic flooding on the Gwent and Somerset Levels. 

The salt from the sea water would have had a devastating effect on the vegetation - most likely for about a century. 

Eventually the salt content of the soil would have diluted to normal concentration (from rainfall over that period). 

However, the flooding would have deposited large quantities of essential minerals in the soil; thus making the Gwent Levels a super-fertile area.

In his letter, Ken Bowen suggests that we are too late to save the Gwent Levels. I disagree. 

The greatest damage to the Gwent Levels in the last 100 years was the construction of the Llanwern steelworks. 

In my opinion, the Gwent Levels could be revived, environmentally, by careful planning and engineering - perhaps over the next 50 years.

Brian Hayes
Clearwell Court