Avalon Marshes Centre, Shapwick, Glastonbury, Somerset
The Avalon Marshes Centre is at the heart of the Avalon Marshes – a unique lowland landscape on the Somerset Levels and Moors, with a rich cultural heritage and some of the best wetland nature reserves in Britain, formed from past peat workings. The reserves are nationally important, spanning different habitats - open waters, reed beds, marshes, grasslands, heaths and woodlands that are home to a variety of wildlife. People come here to enjoy the tranquillity and to see the huge flocks of migratory and resident birds, including marsh harrier, white egret and bittern. In the winter months fascinating crowds are drawn to watch the starling murmurations, as thousands of birds take to the skies before settling down to roost.
Most of the reserves have car parks and trails where you can walk around and love being close to nature; listen out for the plop of a water vole slipping into the water, and the boom of a bittern calling out across the marshes. If you’re very, very lucky, you may even see otters hunting.
The Avalon Marshes Centre has plenty of visitor information about the wildlife and history of the area, including historic replica buildings of a Roman Villa, Saxon longhall and Iron Age roundhouse. There’s also a craft shop and a family run café with indoor and outdoor seating. Pick up one of the leaflets and go exploring – Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve is just across the road, close by are Ham Wall, Catcott Complex and Westhay Moor.
Open: 10:00am-5:00pm 7 days a week
T: 01458 860556
All information correct at the time of writing