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Willows & Wetlands Visitor Centre

Somerset Levels & Moors

The Somerset Levels and Moors are one of the most important inland wetland landscapes in Britain, if not the world.

The Levels stretch along the coast and are a clay belt about 6 metres above sea level whereas the Moors are inland flood plains only about 3 metres above sea level.

This quiet and distinctive landscape is valued as a place to relax and unwind. It is home to a diverse range of wildlife including wading birds, curlews, bitterns, otters, dragonflies and an abundance of wildflowers. In winter over 80,000 water birds gather across the area and often flocks of thousands of starlings can be seen swirling in the skies at dusk before coming to roost in the reed beds.

After the last glaciation period ended 10,000 years ago, sea levels rose rapidly. The Somerset Levels and Moors were under water until ca. 4500 BC when peat deposits began to form in salt marsh, fen and raised bog environments. Significant archaeological finds have been made locally, due to the excellent preservation properties of the peaty soils. Most famed amongst these are the Iron Age Lake Village, discovered near Glastonbury, and an ancient wooden causeway thought to be around 4000 years old.

In a few places, isolated outcrops of higher land rise abruptly from the flat land and were once islands in the flooded plains.The most dramatic of these are: Glastonbury Tor, Brent Knoll and Burrow Mump. Villages with "zoy" in their name were also once islands such as Chedzoy, Middlezoy and Westonzoyland. Near the latter, the last battle on English soil, the Battle of Sedgemoor, was fought in 1685 and the outcome was even influenced by the particular terrain.

The area is full of heritage and local traditions including willow growing and eel/elver fishing. The Willows & Wetlands Centre at Stoke St Gregory explains about the cultivation of 'withies' and the traditional industry of weaving and hurdle making.

The Avalon Marshes is a stunning wetland created from areas that have been dug for peat in the past. It is now home to otters, water voles and a host of other wildlife, as well as a tranquil and beautiful place for people to enjoy.

The River Parrett Trail leads through the heart of the Levels and Moors. This 50 mile trail follows the river from its source in Dorset to the mouth at Bridgwater Bay.

For more information on the area, please contact our Visitor Information Centre in Taunton.

Tags: Somerset Levels & Moors

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Number of items: 64

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  1. A Christmas Carol

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    A Christmas Carol

    Type

    Theatre

    Bridgwater

    Tickets on sale @ Taunton Ticket Centre, Library, Paul Street
    Folksy Theatre are delighted to be performing their musical adaptation of 'A Christmas Carol' at Robert Blake Science College Theatre on...

    Dates

  2. 'All Things Textile' Fair at Willows & Wetlands Visitor Centre

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    'All Things Textile' Fair at Willows & Wetlands Visitor Centre

    Type

    Sale

    Stoke St Gregory, Taunton

    Clear out your cupboards for the New Year! Plan new projects..........

    Buy & Sell

    Fabric remnants

    Haberdashery

    Curtains

    Yarns & Knitting

    Quality nearly-new...

    Dates

  3. Ange Hardy & Steve Pledger - Just Passing Through

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    Ange Hardy & Steve Pledger - Just Passing Through

    Type

    Performance

    Curry Rivel

    ANGE HARDY & STEVE PLEDGER: JUST PASSING THROUGH
    an acoustic tour of rural village halls

    Ange Hardy & Steve Pledger are traveling the west country to bring an evening of exceptional acoustic...

    Dates

  4. Bartletts Farm

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    Bartletts Farm

    4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars Farmhouse

    Nr Taunton

    Come & relax in Somerset at Bartletts Farm, a 300 acre working farm where guests can observe animal...

    Price

    Price £35.00 Per person (breakfast included)
  5. Be an Echo-Maker! Animation Workshops for All

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    Be an Echo-Maker! Animation Workshops for All

    Type

    Workshop

    Taunton

    Help us to make a unique moving image artwork using ready-made paper cut-out artwork. Bring your own flying crane to life and see it become part of our mesmeric animated flock. Free stop frame...

    Dates

  6. Beauty and the Beast

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    Beauty and the Beast

    Type

    Performance

    Taunton

    ARDS 2017 PANTOMIME: Beauty and the Beast.

    The Pantomime will run at Ruishton Village Hall from Wednesday 15th February to Saturday 18th February each evening at 7.30pm and a Saturday matinee at...

    Dates

  7. Cames Mead B&B

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    Cames Mead B&B

    4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars

    Stoke St Gregory, Taunton

    Cames Mead is a Bed and Breakfast that has been...

  8. Christmas Fayre

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    Christmas Fayre

    Type

    Fete/Fair

    Stoke St Gregory, Nr Taunton

    Fabulous Christmas Fayre - Locally produced gifts, crafts, food and drink. Fun quiz. Willow demonstrations.

    Dates

  9. Christmas Topiaries

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    Christmas Topiaries

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Stoke St Gregory, Nr Taunton

    Christmas Topiaries- Make a natural design for indoors or outdoors from Christmas materials including berries, fir cones and winter dried fruits.
    Come and create a fabulous festive design to take...

    Dates

  10. Christmas Willow Decorations Workshop

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    Christmas Willow Decorations Workshop

    Type

    Workshop

    Stoke St Gregory, Nr Taunton

    Tutor- Barbara Clift Have fun creating your own unique natural willow Christmas decorations.

    Held here at The Willows & Wetlands Visitor Centre in new classroom.
    No previous experience needed...

    Dates

  11. Christmas Willow Reindeer Workshop

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    Christmas Willow Reindeer Workshop

    Type

    Crafts

    Stoke St Gregory, Nr Taunton

    Tutor- Sarah Le Breton Make your very own willow reindeer, the ultimate Christmas decoration for your home! You will be introduced to willow weaving and sculpting techniques and with hands on...

    Dates

  12. Coates English Willow

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    Coates English Willow

    Type

    Arts & Crafts Shop

    Stoke St Gregory, Taunton

    Looking for something genuinely made in Somerset? Here at the Willows & Wetlands Centre at Coates...

  13. Coates English Willow Makers Market

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    Coates English Willow Makers Market

    Type

    Market

    Stoke St Gregory, Taunton

    Makers' Market: 11th March 10:00 am - 2:30 pm

    ...

    Dates

  14. Community Spring sale

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    Community Spring sale

    Type

    Sale

    Taunton

    Creech St Michael Pre-school have organised an indoor table top sale to raise funds for some out door play equipment.

    Dates

    From:
    6 May 2017 To 6 May 2017
  15. Doolittle’s Campsite

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    Doolittle’s Campsite

    North Curry, Nr Taunton

    Our pretty Shepherd’s Hut Pod is a romantic way to spend a holiday.  It has a double bed, a...

    Price

    Price from £14.00 to £30.00 Per unit per night
  16. Drayton Street Fair

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    Drayton Street Fair

    Type

    Fete/Fair

    Langport

    21st annual Street Fair. Fun for all ages. Music. Games. Hog Roast. Punch and Judy. Ice Cream. 100's of stalls and much more.

    Dates

  17. Easter Willow Sculpture Trail

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    Easter Willow Sculpture Trail

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Taunton

    Come and see if you can spot the 14 willow sculptures on our new sculpture trail. Located all over our site so you will need your walking shoes, each sculpture is different, which will be your...

    Dates

  18. Easter Willow Workshop at Willows & Wetlands Visitor Centre

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    Easter Willow Workshop at Willows & Wetlands Visitor Centre

    Type

    Workshop

    Stoke St Gregory, Taunton

    Come and join us for lots of fun, make your own willow creations to take home with you.

    Drop in sessions – no booking required.

    Children need to be accompanied by an adult

    Dates

  19. Echo-Maker Archipelago, Animation, Light and Sound in the Landscape

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    Echo-Maker Archipelago, Animation, Light and Sound in the Landscape

    Type

    Visual Arts

    Taunton

    Inspired by an avian tale of time and change, loss and return, resilience and reconnection, hope and renewal.
    Join us on a journey of exploration, come for as little or as long as you like…
    An...

    Dates

  20. Felt Wool Slippers Workshop

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    Felt Wool Slippers Workshop

    Type

    Workshop

    Stoke St Gregory, Nr Taunton

    Explore the use of a plastic resist further and discover the use of a mould to make yourself or someone else a unique pair of wool slippers for those chilly winter evenings.

    Dates

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