Main habitats: peatland and reed beds
Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve is managed by Natural England and covers over 500 hectares at the heart of the Somerset Levels and Moors.
From November to February, Shapwick Heath is one of the best places in England to see huge flocks of starlings come to roost in winter. For further information call the Starling Hotline (07866 554142).
There is also a spring migration of hobbies arriving from tropical Africa.
Around 64 different species of birds nest here, including Cetti’s warbler and great-crested grebes, while dragonflies and over 27 species of butterfly abound in the summer. These include the silver washed fritillary, purple hairstreak and orange-tip, while the path to Meare Hide is the best place to see the large and impressive white admiral.
Over 24 different mammals have also been seen at Shapwick, including water voles, lesser horseshoe bats and, of course, otters.
Habitats include lush green wildflower meadows; still, dark ditches; damp, secretive fens, shady, wet fern woods; and open water, fringed with rustling reedbeds and Shapwick is also the location of the Neolithic Sweet Track, the oldest man-made routeway in Britain.
|National Nature Reserve (1 Jan 2017 - 31 Dec 2017)|