Swell Wood Heronry

Photo 03-07-2016, 11 55 29

Walk details

Distance: 2.5km

Terrain: Narrow footpaths with a couple of sections of steep steps.

Location: Grid reference ST360238 – A378 between Fivehead and Curry Rivel, Somerset

I am so glad I discovered this RSPB site when I did because the nesting herons and little egrets have almost all gone. Swell Wood is the largest heronry in South West England and is on a ridge overlooking the Somerset Levels.

There are actually two walks at Swell, one is a short accessible path (Woodland Walk) for buggies and wheelchairs and the other, Scarp Walk, is a slightly longer scramble up and down the escarpment.

I was a little disappointed that the Scarp Walk did not afford views over the levels due to the woodland, however it was a pleasant sojourn in the shade nonetheless, and I was delighted to spot some stinking iris – pretty, despite their name.

Photo 03-07-2016, 12 03 10 (1)

But the obvious highlight for me was the time spent in the hide with my binoculars scanning the treetops for herons. There were at least two herons nests and I also spotted a little egret. I confess that I had no idea until this point that such large birds nested in the top of trees- always assuming they nested on the ground. It never ceases to amaze me what wonderful wildlife we have in Britain.



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