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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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Starling Murmurations

Starling Murmuration

Autumn and winter in the Avalon Marshes bring 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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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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Upcoming Events

Bullfinch Jan 16

Beginners’ Guide to Bird Watching – 28 January

Have you ever wondered which bird is which and want to learn more?  Then this is the event for you.  Come along and learn to identify some of the fantastic birds that call Ham Wall their home during the winter… Read more…

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World Wetland Day Walk at Ham Wall – 2 February

Join us on World Wetland Day to find out why Ham Wall and the Avalon Marshes are so important to wildlife and discover some of the amazing birds and animals that live here.  Our guided walk leaders will take you… Read more…

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Walk at Ham Wall – 5 February

Don Hurrell will lead a walk around the RSPB reserve at Ham Wall to view Winter birds. This walk will be suitable for inexperienced birdwatchers. Image Joy Russell  

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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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