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

Female Marsh Harrier in flight

The Avalon Marshes is famous for its winter starling murmurations, but in spring and summer 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


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

Leader demonstrating how to build a camp fire

Young Wardens: Bushcraft skills – 25 October

Learn some Bushcraft Skills with Natural England, make a campfire from scratch and use a range of hand-tools to create woodland bivouacs and shelters in our woodland glade. Young Wardens is a programme of activities designed for 12-17 year olds. It… Read more…

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Get Spooked with the Pumpkin Trail at Ham Wall – 28/29 October

Follow our Spooky Pumpkin trail at Ham Wall, find the creepy creatures in the reed beds, but beware what’s lurking round the corner. Drop-in event Saturday and Sunday, £2 per trail, includes a small prize. For more information: Phone 01458… Read more…

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Starling Spectacular at Ham Wall – 9 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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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