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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We won!

A surprise visit by comedian Bill Bailey was how we heard that the Avalon Marshes Landscape Partnership was winner of the environmental category of the National Lottery Awards 2017.

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Starling Murmurations

Starling landscape

Autumn in the Avalon Marshes brings a change as dark clouds begin to form.  But these are no ordinary clouds; they are Starling murmurations, huge flocks of Starlings on the move. They use the reedbeds of the Avalon Marshes as a safe and warm night time roost.

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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


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

Starling Murmuration

Starling Spectacular at Ham Wall – 23 November

FULLY BOOKED  Winter is an amazing time of year on the Avalon Marshes.  Join our guided walk leaders as they go in search of some of the fantastic wildlife that makes Ham Wall its home during the winter. We’ll be… Read more…

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Area of reserve cleared of scrub

Young Wardens: Practical Conservation work – 25 November

Get involved in Practical Conservation Work with The Hawk & Owl Trust during a day out on Shapwick Moor with the Reserve Warden. You will be undertaking scrub clearance, using hand-tools, burning brash and planting trees; there will also be… Read more…

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Binocular and Telescope Day at Ham Wall – 25 November

Time for a new pair of binoculars for Christmas?  Head down to Ham Wall nature reserve to meet knowledgeable experts for advice and information on the product range. Free event, no need to book.

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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