Somerset Wildlife Trust

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New Plans for the Avalon Marshes Centre Revealed for Consultation

 17th Aug 2012

homeLocal people are invited to view and comment on new plans for the Avalon Marshes Centre that have been developed following an initial phase of community consultation. 

Community consultation

More than 70 people attended two community design workshops at the end of June, inputting their ideas as to how the centre, on Shapwick Road, could be developed in the future.  On the basis of these ideas and a brief agreed by the key partner organisations, the architects Architype have now drafted sketch proposals for further consultation with key stakeholders, the local community and other interested bodies. The centre will provide improved facilities for visitors to the Avalon Marshes area which is recognised internationally for its wildlife and archaeology, and includes a number of National Nature Reserves. 

Drop-in to view plans or attend a consultation event

The plans will be on display in the information caravan at the Avalon Marshes Centre from Thursday, August 23 until Sunday, September 9 so people can call in between 10am and 5pm to view the plans and make their comments.  There will also be specific sessions when the plans will be on display at local venues when people will be able to discuss the proposals with those involved. These will be:

Westhay Schoolrooms  Sat 1st September 10.30 ­ 12.30pm
Shapwick Village Hall  Sat 1st September 1.30 ­ 4.30pm
Ashcott Village Hall  Thurs 6th September 6.30 ­ 8.30pm
Meare Manor, Meare  Sat 8th September 10.00 ­ 1.00pm
Avalon Marshes Centre  Sat 8th September 2.00 ­ 5.00pm

Following the community consultation on the sketch plans, the final plans will be drafted, so that they can form the basis for submitting a planning application and funding bids in the autumn.

Attractive, functional and affordable design

Development officer David Evans said: “The input that people made to the workshops and through the questionnaires was really encouraging. We hope that even more people will come along to view the sketch plans and pass on their comments as we want to ensure that the plans for the new centre have broad community support.  The centre needs to be attractive, functional and affordable, as well as being built to a high environmental standard.” 

A local partnership

The project has been developed by a partnership of Natural England, Somerset County Council, Somerset Wildlife Trust, the RSPB and the Hawk and Owl Trust, all of whom manage land or reserves in the area.  This stage of the design process, with its focus on community engagement, has been funded by an award of a £37,000 grant from The Local Action for Rural Communities fund in the Somerset Levels and Moors, managed by Somerset County Council.

Avalon marshes centre partnership


Media enquiries:
Contact PR and communications manager Beth Jerrett on 01823-652413 or e-mail:

Notes to Editors

• The site at The Avalon Marshes Centre on Shapwick Road is jointly owned by Natural England and Somerset County Council.
• The Avalon Marshes Centre project is separate from, but complementary to, the Avalon Marshes Landscape Partnership Scheme, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Photo credit Brian Phipps