Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve is a stunning mosaic of wetland habitat set in the heart of the beautiful, and mysterious Somerset Levels. Lying between?Glastonbury to the east, the Mendip hills to the north, and the Polden ridge to the south, Shapwick Heath forms part of the Avalon Marshes, along with two other National Nature Reserves, several local nature reserves, and SSSI land. Shapwick Heath itself covers over 500 hectares, and is made up of reed-bed, open water, wet woodland, wet meadows, and reed swamp, with small areas of fen, and remnant mire. It is home to a variety of wildlife, including otter, water vole, many birds species, including bittern, water rail and marsh harrier. Vast numbers of starling roost in the area during the winter, and in may large numbers of hobby use the reserve as a feeding ground. Several rare species of butterfly and moth are present, as well as rare beetles, and other invertebrates. The meadows are rich in beautiful flowers, providing nectar for insects, which in turn are food for many other animals. The reserve is managed by Natural England, who have a core staff of four based at the office nearby, and are helped by an army of dedicated volunteers.
Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve
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