“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.”
Main habitat: Peatland and reed beds
Why visit: Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve is a superb place to watch wildlife. This magnificent wetland reserve is managed by Natural England and covers over 500 ha at the heart of the Somerset Levels and Moors. It’s an area that’s steeped in history, and an atmospheric landscape of great skies and endless horizons.
Habitats include lush green wildflower meadows; still, dark ditches; damp, secretive fens, shady, wet fern woods; and open water, fringed with rustling reedbeds.
Marvel at the huge flocks of starlings coming into to roost in winter and the spring migration of hobbies arriving from tropical Africa. Shapwick Heath is also the location of the Neolithic Sweet Track, the oldest man-made routeway in Britain.
Star species: Otters, bitterns, marsh harriers