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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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

Child in woods

Forest School for all the Family – 03 April

Join in the fun and follow our trail-game along the Sweet Track to discover some of its wildlife and the mysteries of ancient man living on the marshes. Complete with a picnic round the campfire in the glade in Decoy… Read more…

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Sign saying Give Nature a Home

Young Wardens: Giving Nature a Home – 04 April

‘Giving Nature a Home’ – Take part in some practical hands-on habitat creation work to benefit a range of species found on the RSPB’s Avalon Marshes reserves. Young Wardens is a programme of activities designed for 12-17 year olds. It… Read more…

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Mr Boombastic at Ham Wall – 8 April

With over forty booming bitterns recorded last year, the Avalon Marshes is one of the best places in the country to find this shy and elusive bird.  Join us on an early morning walk to come and listen to the… 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

 

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