At the heart of Somerset in the southwest of England is an area called the Somerset Levels and Moors. It has international status as one of the most important wetlands of its type in the world. The whole area was under water until about 4500 BC when peat deposits began to form in salt marsh, fen and raised bog environments.
People have been draining the area since before the Domesday Book. In the Middle Ages, the monasteries of Glastonbury, Athelney and Muchelney were responsible for much of the drainage.
The Levels is extremely rich in wildlife and wild flowers. It is one of the finest remaining lowland wetlands left in Britain, and is also internationally important for migrating birds. The Somerset Levels and Moors includes 32 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, of which 12 are Special Protection Areas.
This is also one of the best places in the UK to witness the amazing spectacle of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of starlings as they fly, forming sweeping cloud-like shapes overhead before plunging down to roost in the reed beds.
These starling ‘murmurations’ are a true wonder of the natural world. The starlings leave the marshes during the day and go off to feed, some up to 20 miles away. They return in the afternoon and the murmurations can start an hour or so before sunset. Winter is the time to see these spectacular murmurations!
To find out exactly where the starlings are gathering on the Somerset Levels and Moors currently, ring the Avalon Marshes Starling Hotline on 07866 554 142 and listen to the answer message.
Our 4 star cottage, Beanacre Barn, is the ideal base from which to explore the fascinating Somerset Levels. Check out availability and prices here now.