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Wildlife

This part of the coast forms the southern shore of the mouth of the River Severn and includes Bridgwater Bay – a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a wetland of international importance. Several rivers drain into the Bay which is itself part of the Bristol Channel. The mingling of salt and fresh water combined with a massive tidal range make it a globally important site for nature.


What gives the water its muddy colour also fills it with marine life from giant Conger Eel and Skate to tiny shrimp and worms which of course attract the birds. Rock pools shelter crabs, snails, brittlestars and anemones. They are patrolled by waders such as sanderling and dunlin as well as egrets. The hills are home to peregrine falcons and ravens and the sand dunes attract the warblers.


In the winter, the mudflats can see many thousands of visiting ducks and geese adding to the resident populations. Among the most plentiful are Shelduck and Wigeon but there are also Teal, Pintail and Shovelers in good numbers.


Berrow is a Local Nature Reserve with the dunes supporting a rich array of plants including Sea-buckthorn and Evening Primrose which are a draw for butterflies, beetles and birds. Rare plants including orchids also cling to the cliff tops while the new salt marsh at Steart is being colonised by specialist flora. The shingle ridges at various places along the route are favoured by other species like poppies and thistles.


As for mammals, it is possible to see deer, hares, otters, foxes, stoats and weasels not forgetting our Quantock Ponies.

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