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Marooned but dry: The home protected from the ravages of flooding after owners built 6ft-high clay bank to protect it

Yahoo News.
7 January 2014
Suzette Billington's home near Taunton remains protected by clay banks. (SWNS)
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Suzette Billington's home near Taunton remains protected by clay banks. (SWNS)

This isolated rural home sits on its own marooned flood island - after the owner spent three years building a 6ft-high clay bank to protect it.

Suzette Billington lives 200 yards from the River Tone on the Somerset Levels, and regularly found herself submerged by 3ft of water every time flood water hit.

They arrived with such regularity every winter that Suzette kept a boat at the ready tied up outside the living-room window in Stoke St Gregory, near Taunton.

But, after years of bailing out the home, Suzette's husband Douglas Billington, who has now sadly died, encircled his two-acre garden with a clay floodbank - which was finished just in time for the floods of autumn 2000.

Now, 13 years on, the flood defences are still holding strong, and widowed Suzette has been left on dry land despite the persistent rain.

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Suzette and retired Royal Navy lieutenant Douglas bought what could be Britain's most flood-prone home in 1994.

They were attracted by the romance of the rural wilderness, which blooms into a colourful countryside paradise during summer months. Douglas began building the defences - the bulk of which is clay covered in top soil - in 1999.

MORE PICTURES OF THE DRAMATIC FLOODS AND STORM WHICH HAVE BATTERED BRITAIN: