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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 as spring emerges look out for our largest resident birds: Bittern, Marsh Harrier and Great White Egret – our ‘Big Three – regularly seen on our reserves they cannot fail to impress!

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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

Newt on log

Young Wardens: Aquatic Wildlife – 30 May

Join Somerset Wildlife Trust Reserves Warden to discover the Aquatic Wildlife lurking in the depths of ditches and lakes across the Avalon Marshes. Frogs, toads, newts, water-beetles, dragonfly larvae, and many more fascinating aquatic creatures lay waiting to be found…… Read more…

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Chasing Jun 15

Bitterns in Hot Pursuit! – 1 June

Drop in anytime between 10 am and 3 pm to meet our Ham Wall Information Wardens at the first viewing platform.  Watch the bitterns take to the air to perform their exciting aerial courtship chases. Free event For more information… Read more…

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Children creating wild art

Forest School for all the Family – 02 June

Get hands on with us at our beautiful woodland glade and learn to use traditional woodworking manual tools to make simple crafts and beads. For children and their parents/carers. Places limited, booking essential. Charge £3 per child.

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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