Starlings congregate in the reedbeds at Ham Wall in winter to roost in vast numbers. Their presence attracts predators in turn. View more information here >>
The Great Crane Project aims to restore healthy populations of wild common cranes throughout the UK. Cranes are wonderful, iconic birds that are sadly missing from many of their former wetland haunts in the UK. They were lost as a breeding bird around 400 years ago as a result of the draining of their wetland nesting sites, and hunting for food. In 2010 they were reintroduced to the Somerset Levels. View more information here >>
The fields here used to be arable farmland, but now they are being looked after so that they are ideal for wetland birds and other wildlife.
We have put in structures to keep the water levels high and have created miles of new ditches and shallow water-filled gutters, and dug out numerous shallow pools or ‘scrapes’. Now you can see lapwings, snipe, curlews and redshanks nesting here in summer, as well as yellow wagtails, skylarks and meadow pipits.
The NNR consists mainly of restored peat fields and water-filled compartments containing islands with areas of reeds and bulrushes. There are areas of poor fen and also an old fragment of acid mire that is being restored.
“Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve is not only a fantastic place to see wildlife, but a monument to the history and ingenuity of Neolithic man preserved through the amazing Sweet Track. It’s a unique window to the past and a place everyone should try to visit.”
Phil Holms, Senior Reserve Manager
The Somerset Levels and Moors are unique, timeless and tranquil. They are dotted with heritage sites, historic towns and echoes from the past; bursting with wildlife under vast skies and home to a vibrant farming, business and arts community.