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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Summer Exploring

Cyclists and willlows

Warm weather, long days, colourful wildflowers and birds busy feeding their young. Summer is a wonderful time to explore the Avalon Marshes.   Why not pick up one of our walks or cycle leaflets and explore our wonderful area?

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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

Family Sculpture Trail – Westhay Moor – Tuesdays and Wednesdays in Jul/Aug

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11am to 3pm over the school holidays, kids can pick up a quiz sheet from the car park and discover our nature-inspired sculpture trail! Explore Westhay Moor National Nature Reserve and the amazing wildlife that… Read more…

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Open Day with Vikings

A FREE open day for people to look around the Saxon longhall, the Roman villa dining-room and the Viking boat at the Avalon Archaeology Park/Avalon Marshes Centre. A group of Vikings will be inhabiting the longhall to enlighten people in… Read more…

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Wild Art on Shapwick – 29th July

Join friendly reserve staff and volunteers on the Discovery Trail at the Ashcott Road end of Shapwick Heath NNR to take part in hands-on, nature-inspired arts and craft activities. This is a drop-in event, £2 per child per session.

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Keeping in Touch

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The Avalon Marshes Partnership


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