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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Exciting Events

Family events, walks, talks and training.  There are lots of interesting events taking place in or around the Avalon Marshes. Our events page has lots to offer whatever your age, interest or expertise.

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Starling spectacular

The Avalon Marshes is famous for the massive murmurations of starlings that roost in the reed beds and dance in the sky on our nature reserves during winter. Find out more about this annual winter wonder here…

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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

Female Marsh Harrier in flight

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

Reedbeds and Waterways

An exhibition of artworks by printmaker Jackie Curtis celebrating the landscapes and wildlife of the Somerset Levels

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Dawn Explosion Walks at Ham Wall

 The starling murmurations at the Avalon marshes are a wonder of the natural world with over half a million birds roosting in the reed beds, but have you ever wondered what this number of birds look like when they wake… Read more…

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Super Starlings for home educated children at RSPB Ham Wall

Have you ever marvelled at a starling murmuration? Join us at RSPB Ham Wall to learn about the fascinating lives of these charismatic birds as they gather in massive flocks for their evening flyby above the reedbeds on the reserve… Read more…

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Keeping in Touch

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The Avalon Marshes Partnership

 

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