Sixty projects over four years helped conserve the unique landscape, heritage and wildlife of this wetland area in the heart of Somerset, attracting thousands of participants.
The Avalon Marshes is a varied and beautiful piece of Somerset including meadows, woods, reed-beds and lakes, plus the mystical Isle of Avalon containing Glastonbury Tor. The wetlands are home to Marsh Harriers, Bitterns and Otters, while the area has 10,000 years of human history, giving a rich archaeological heritage.
The Avalon Marshes partners used National Lottery funding to conserve the unique landscape, heritage and wildlife of the area, as well as train and engage the local community through 60 varied projects across four years.
The project has unlocked the potential of this magical area that had huge potential to be discovered, explored and enjoyed by local communities.
Access to the nature reserves in the area was relatively limited before and has dramatically improved as a result of the new bird hides, access trails and visitor facilities installed through the scheme.
Practical projects include a new car park and visitor facilities at Ham Wall; two new historic reconstructions at the Avalon Marshes Centre, three environmental conservation apprenticeships; and conservation training for volunteers; improved leaflets, trails and educational materials for visitors.
Community engagement included 500 volunteers, contributing more than 16,450 hours; 50 schools and colleges, providing nearly 5,000 educational experiences; 180 events, attracting more than 10,000 participants; and 49 courses, training 370 staff and volunteers. The wider area has been promoted to 160,000 visitors.
- Chipping of cleared scrub will be taking place at our #WesthayMoor reserve on the @AvalonMarshes, particularly in t… t.co/j5gfYMX2em
- Starling murmuration filmed at @AvalonMarshes in #Somerset tonight. So beautiful 😍 @BBCSpringwatch @Natures_Voice… t.co/Q6i9P2qzmz
- Shots from @RSPBHamWall and Shapwick Heath last week. #TwitterNatureCommunity @iNatureUK @AvalonMarshes… t.co/pVdAyuFzYq
- A first-winter lapwing catching a worm at Catcott Reserve last week. @SomersetWT @AvalonMarshes @somersetbirds t.co/sihLKXGkF5
- Chiffchaff singing @RSPBHamWall First of the year for me! @AvalonMarshes