West Sedgemoor

Habitat The site comprises a large expanse of wet grassland which is often flooded in the winter.  Access out onto the wetland is not possible except on guided walks, but great views can be had from the public footpaths amongst the hedgerows, woodland and steep slope to the south.  This area can be great for spotting a wide range of wildlife, while enjoying the views across the moor to the Quantock Hills in the distance.
Grid ref/postcode  ST391252, TA10 0PH
Toilets Nearest public toilets, and accessible facilities [with RADAR key]  in Langport, 4 miles (6.5 km) away.  
Directions Park in the village of Curry Rivel, south-west of Langport, or at our nearby nature reserve at Swell Wood.  Access to the site is by pre-booked guided walk only; alternatively, there is an excellent network of footpaths west of Curry Rivel that provide superb views over the reserve.  An Ordnance Survey map is essential to help you find your way around.  The RSPB here also hosts the Big Duck Watch [see Links below]
Accessibility Access by pre-booking only (see Links below).  Nature trails:  Trails with limited signage from Curry Rivel village. Ordnance Survey map (Explorer 128) recommended.   Unsurfaced paths with some width restrictions, including stiles and gates.  Many changes in gradient and some steps.  No seating. Picnic area: One table with space for a wheelchair user at Woodland Trail viewpoint.

This is a good area for seeing the Common Cranes, both on the reserve and nearby.  Some viewing points may be seen on this map:

West Sedgemoor RSPB - where to look for cranes

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Conservation

To keep the hay meadows and pastures special for wildlife, they control water levels, graze cattle and cut hay to create ideal habitats for ground-nesting birds. The hay meadow management is also especially important for the rare plant communities that West Sedgemoor is famous for. Hedgerows are managed using traditional methods benefiting birds, small mammals and butterflies. Water voles and otters breed here too.

In winter, the controlled flooding on the wet meadows attracts birds in their thousands – ducks such as wigeons, teals, shovelers, pintails and mallards and wading birds such as golden plovers, snipe and lapwings. 

Site information

West Sedgemoor is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) site as part of England’s largest remaining wet meadow system. Set among the Somerset Levels and Moors, it has the largest lowland population of breeding wading birds such as lapwings, snipe, curlew and redshanks in southern England. 

The reserve has restricted access to protect ground-nesting birds and over-wintering flocks. Go on a guided walks to get special access to their winter viewing station. 

Links

RSPB West Sedgemoor

The Great Crane Project  [see also Cherrie Temple’s Powerpoint presentation on The European Cranes]

RSPB Big Duck Watch

Site Contact:   Dewlands Farm, Redhill, Curry Rivel, TA10 0PH    email [for booking] west.sedgemoor@rspb.org.uk   Tel.:  01458 252805;   07774 620879