Nature Reserves

Nature Reserves

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Introduction

Somerset’s Levels and Moors are a haven for Wonderful Wildlife.  Avalon Marshes and its nationally important nature reserves sits at the heart of the area.  Over the last 50 years wildlife has thrived here 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 home to 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 left-hand side of this page will take you to detailed information on the individual reserves. The Avalon Marshes Centre sits centrally and makes a great base from which to explore. There are plenty of places to eat and drink in the area with Glastonbury and Street close by.

Advice on Visiting the Reserves:

  • There are various restrictions regarding dog walking on the reserves: dogs are not allowed on the main area of Shapwick Heath or in the hides at Ham Wall, Westhay Moor and Catcott; and please take your dog’s waste home with you.  You can find out more on the individual nature reserve pages or pick up a dog walking leaflet at the information point in the Avalon Marshes Centre.
  • Wear good footwear: paths can be uneven, muddy and slippery in places.
  • Most of the nature reserves have car parks. Please use them wherever possible; if you have to park elsewhere do not block gateways or droves.  When visiting don’t leave valuables in cars, remove the parcel shelf if possible, and report any suspicious behaviour to the police.

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