Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Westhay Moor

Westhay Moor, the marshes of Avalon from Bevis Bowden.

What to look out for in summer

In the summer, metallic dragon and damsel flies glisten in the reeds and exotic carnivorous sundew plants, both round-leaved and  intermediate, spread across the lush wetlands.

Invertebrates in thousands 

The invertebrate community is diverse with notable species including   dragonflies such as brown hawker common hawker, hairy dragonfly, red-  eyed damselfly and ruddy darter.  Butterflies include brown argus, dark green fritillary and green hairstreak.  The notable moths satin, lutestring and rosy wave, the bog bush-cricket and raft spider  all  occur as does the lesser silver diving beetle. A recent bumblebee  survey (2013) revealed the presence of 11 species of bumblebee. 

Views from the hides

Use the hides to gain good views of hen harriers, bittern, kingfisher, hobbies and great crested grebes. Watch out also for the striking bearded tit with its fine moustaches. As you walk the rides, keep an eye open for adders, grass snakes slow worms and common lizards.


About Westhay Moor

Visitors to Westhay Moor nature reserve can experience the local landscape as it was when the first settlers, Neolithic farmers, made the marshes home ­- a mosaic of wetlands, lakes and reed beds alive with hidden wildfowl and fish.

Restored peat diggings have been transformed by the Somerset Wildlife Trust into a network of open water, reed bed and the largest surviving fragment of lowland acid mire in the south west.

Westhay Moor is the Trust’s only National Nature Reserve and it is at the cornerstone of our Brue Valley Living Landscape Project to restore, recreate and reconnect important wildlife habitat in the valley. The beautiful wetlands of the Brue Valley are rich with wildlife but if we don’t link up these islands of habitat and create highways our wildlife can move around we risk losing some of our most valuable species.

261 acres (106 ha.)


More information

Westhay Moor is within our Brue Valley Living Landscape project and you can find out more about how we are working across the landscape to protect wildlife on the Somerset Levels by clicking here.

Somerset Wildlife Trust is also part of the Avalon Marshes Landscape Partnership which is a collaboration of conservation focused organisations working with local people, stakeholders and communities to deliver projects and activities that boost and enhance the wildlife and cultural heritage in the Avalon Marshes.


Bearded Tit

 Bearded tit © Martin Mecnarowski

Bittern_Pete Blanchford

 Bittern © Pete Blanchford

Westhay2 Lynne Newton

Reed beds © Lynne Newton