The Avalon Marshes

The Avalon Marshes, a magical wetland landscape, lies at the heart of Somerset’s Levels and Moors. It is nationally important for its rich cultural heritage and diversity of wildlife, with Glastonbury Tor, the Isle of Avalon and some of Britain’s best wetland nature reserves.

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Wetland Wildlife

The Avalon Marshes is part of Somerset’s Levels and Moors, one of the largest lowland wetlands in Britain. It is internationally important for wildlife. See murmurations of starlings; listen to booming bitterns; be enchanted by colourful meadows; watch butterflies and dragonflies; and if you are very lucky glimpse otters at play.

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Meare Fish House in the landscape

10,000 Years

Inhabited since the end of the last ice age, the Avalon Marshes has slowly been reclaimed from the sea and bears the evidence of history. Ancient trackways crossed the marshes in the Stone Age; Iron Age dwellers built lake villages; Romans extracted salt; the medieval period saw the influence of Glastonbury Abbey; the industrial revolution brought canals and railways.

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Isle of Avalon

Mystical Glastonbury is reputed to be the ancient Isle of Avalon.  A thriving town it is home to Glastonbury Abbey and Glastonbury Tor, which looks out over the Avalon Marshes and beyond. Legends abound including King Arthur and his sword Excalibur, and Joseph of Arimethea and the Holy Thorn.

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The Big Three

Bittern in flight

The Avalon Marshes is famous for its winter starling murmurations, but our ‘Big Three’:  Bittern, Marsh Harrier and Great White Egret, are regularly seen throughout the year and cannot fail to impress.

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Explore

Cyclists and Glastonbury Tor

Nature Reserves, fascinating heritage, Glastonbury Tor, museums, attractive villages, footpaths, cycle routes, kids’ stuff and lots more. Come and explore Somerset’s Avalon Marshes.

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History and Heritage

Glastonbury lake Village

The Avalon Marshes is a landscape of rich resources, not of coal and iron but of food, peat and water.  These give the marshes their special character and have left a wonderful legacy of history and archaeology.

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Wonderful Wildlife

Great Crested Grebes performing

The Avalon Marshes is a very special place to see and enjoy wildlife whatever time of year you visit. There are four National Nature Reserves and lots of other areas teeming with wetland wildlife.

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Tweets liked by Avalon Marshes


Upcoming Events

Painting of Tractor in Orchard

FARM by Kate lynch – 3 June to 3 December

Somerset’s food and farming heritage is celebrated in Somerset Rural Life Museum’s first exhibition by local artist Kate Lynch. Working in oils, pastels and willow charcoal, Kate creates atmospheric drawings and paintings of rural life. ‘FARM’, includes more than 40 paintings and… Read more…

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Flowers and people

Discover Ham Wall ‘Taster Walk’ – 1 July

Join our guided walk leaders on one of our special taster walks to find out why Ham Wall and the wider Avalon Marshes are so important for wildlife.  Discover more about some of the amazing birds and animals that live… Read more…

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Common Goldenring ©Michael Kreutz

Dragonfly Day at Catcott – 8 July

Come and meet the dragonflies that call Catcott Nature Reserve home, including a guided walk and pond dipping for the kids. Find out what makes these aerial invertebrates masters of the sky. Image credit: Common Goldenring ©Michael Kreutz

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Keeping in Touch

If you would like to keep in touch with what is happening in the Avalon Marshes why not sign up for our enewsletter “Messages from the Marshes”, “like us” on Facebook or follow us on Twitter?

 

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The Avalon Marshes Partnership

 

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