Nature Reserves

Nature Reserves




Somerset’s Levels and Moors are a haven for Wonderful Wildlife. At the heart of the area lies the Avalon Marshes and its nationally important nature reserves. In the last 50 years wildlife has thrived as abandoned peat workings have been transformed and restored to lush wetlands, many of which are now designated as National Nature Reserves.

Covering around 1,500 hectares (3,700 acres), the nature reserves are a haven for a broad array of wildlife and offer the chance to see some unusual species, rarely seen elsewhere. There are many habitat types to discover including open water, reed-bed, mire, fen, meadow and wet woodland. Access is provided by numerous tracks, trails and hides.

There is a general location map below and the links at the side of this page will take you to information on the individual reserves. The Avalon Marshes Centre sits centrally amongst them and makes a great base from which to explore. There are plenty of places to eat and drink in the area and Glastonbury is close by.

Advice on Visiting the Reserves:

  • Wear good footwear, paths can be muddy and slippery in places.
  • Most of the nature reserves have car parks. Please use them where possible; if you have to park elsewhere take care not to block gateways or roads.
  • There has unfortunately been a spate of break ins and thefts from vehicles at Westhay Moor, Catcott, Shapwick Heath and Ham Wall. Please ensure when visiting our reserves that you don’t leave valuables in cars, remove parcel shelf if possible, and report any suspicious behaviour to the police.
  • There are various restrictions regarding dog walking on the reserves, and please note dogs are not allowed on the main area of Shapwick Heath.  You can find out more by reading the Avalon Marshes’ dog walking leaflet.

Location Map

  • You get a better view full screen – click on the top right icon – the “square”
  • Now use the menu, click on name see where the feature is and find out more
  • Or, click on the feature to find out more.
  • Use the + and – to zoom in and out