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17 September 2014
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Wetlands | Shapwick Heath

Shapwick map

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Shapwick Nature Reserve lies in the heart of the Somerset Levels and its landscape is dominated by water.

Every inch of this low lying habitat is classed as wetland, whether it is wet woodland, wet grassland or open water.

Wetlands Index (Image: Reed Bunting c/o English Nature)

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Wetlands are an absolute must for any self-respecting lover of nature. They are fantastically rich in wildlife with star species including otters and birds.

Wetland activities (Image: Grebe c/o English Nature)

Wetland activities

  • Get involved in wetland bird watching, spot an otter and go pond dipping for a great day out for the whole family.

Shapwick Heath - Visitor Guide


Shapwick, near Glastonbury, Somerset.

Postcode BA6
Telephone:English Nature site manager - 01458 860120
Street map Streetmap of Shapwick Heath
Ordnance Survey:Grid reference ST449397.
Best time for nature:

The best time to see the flowers at Shapwick Heath is spring.


Bird watching - year round.

Key attractions:

Walks, bird watching, pond dipping, wildlife spotting.


If you visit the reserve make sure you look in the wildlife diary books.

Members of the public and the wardens fill them in daily and they can be a really valuable clue as to what you might see.


Shapwick English Nature leaflet

Essential kit:

Walking shoes. Binoculars. Camouflage clothing.


Refreshments available at Peat Moors visitor centre.

Nature watching:

Walking - waymarked paths and interpretation boards.


Check log books in hides for recent wildlife spottings.


Pond dipping - why not enrol on the pond dipping course and get expert advice on identifying the local aquatic creepy crawlies.


Neolithic Sweet Track - the oldest man-made route in Britain - runs across the area.

Wildlife watching - Birds, Otters, insects, plants and birds.

There is a lot to see at Shapwick so to make the most of your trip, plan a long day from dawn until dusk.


Deer watching - dawn is a good time to watch the deer.


Otters - the Mere Heath hide is the best place to watch from but be patient!


Note: No toilets - the nearest are located at nearby villages.

No refreshments on site - local villages nearby.


Wheelchair access to hides, some seats, easy-access boardwalk.


The Mere Heath hide has good disabled access.

No dogs allowed on site.

Getting there:

Located one kilometere north of Shapwick village near Glastonbury.


The nearest car park is at the peat Moors Centre, not far from the reserve's main entrance. There is a second car park at the other end of the reserve.

Opening times:

Open year round.



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