Avalon 24 is an annual 24 hour event involving over 30 guided walks where everyone is invited to see and hear as much wildlife as possible. This year it took place from noon on May 28 to noon on May 29.
Well over 500 participants started at the Avalon Marshes Centre, Westhay, Glastonbury before heading off on guided walks about birds of prey, dragonflies, owls and wildflowers to name a few.
The programme of over 30 two hour walks took place on some of the Avalon Marshes nature reserves including Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Westhay Moor and Catcott Lows, the RSPB’s Ham Wall, Natural England’s Shapwick Heath, and the Hawk and Owl Trust’s Shapwick Moor.
Each walk was led by an expert in their field, and data collected on the walks will be used to produce a list of species found on the marshes. Amongst nearly 300 species spotted were some national rarities including the Bittern, Hobby, Argent & Sable Moth and Lesser Silver Diving Beetle.
Throughout the day and night the variety of walks gave participants the chance to enjoy local wildlife including otter and water vole spotting, small mammal trapping and a midnight session with moth traps. Those interested in history and archaeology were also catered for and there were some specific children focused events.
12 participants were brave enough to complete a full 24-hours of walks and activities and were presented with ‘The Avalon 24 Naturalist Endurance Award’ by Phil Holms, Senior Reserves Manager, Natural England. The end of the event coincided with the Avalon Marshes Open Day.
If you weren’t able to make it to Avalon 24 this year, look out for a brand new programme of walks in May 2012! Alternatively get in touch with the Somerset Wildlife Trust, RSPB, Hawk & Owl Trust or Natural England for information on guided wildlife walks in your area.