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.
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.