Huntspill River National Nature Reserve
WEST HUNTSPILL, SOMERSET
The Huntspill River NNR, near Woolavington, consists of an artificial river dug in 1940 to provide water for a Royal Ordnance factory. The reserve holds a large stock of coarse fish, is home to otters and a breeding site for barn owls. In winter the Huntspill River is used to clear floodwater from agricultural land in the Brue valley, and in summer it is filled by water from local peat moors. At its western end the Huntspill enters the Bridgwater Bay NNR (see above). Most of the grassland on the banks of the river is leased for haymaking or grazing by cattle and sheep. With its large population of coarse fish, the reserve is used by a local angling association. Artificial holts have been built for otters and boxes for barn owls, who hunt on the nearby grassland.Willow and scrub have been planted to provide new habitats and increase diversity.
Also in the Area
About The area
Somerset means ‘summer pastures’ – appropriate given that so much of this county remains rural and unspoiled. Ever popular areas to visit are the limestone and red sandstone Mendip Hills rising to over 1,000 feet, and by complete contrast, to the south and southwest, the flat landscape of the Somerset Levels. Descend to the Somerset Levels, an evocative lowland landscape that was the setting for the Battle of Sedgemoor in 1685. In the depths of winter this is a desolate place and famously prone to extensive flooding. There is also a palpable sense of the distant past among these fields and scattered communities. It is claimed that Alfred the Great retreated here after his defeat by the Danes.
Away from the flat country are the Quantocks, once the haunt of poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. The Quantocks are noted for their gentle slopes, heather-covered moorland expanses and red deer. From the summit, the Bristol Channel is visible where it meets the Severn Estuary. So much of this hilly landscape has a timeless quality about it and large areas have hardly changed since Coleridge and Wordsworth’s day.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
Why Choose Rated Trips
Your trusted guide to rated places across the UK
The Best Coverage
Discover more than 15,000 professionally rated places to stay, eat and visit from across the UK and Ireland.
Choose a place to stay safe in the knowledge that it has been expertly assessed by trained assessors.
Plan Your Next Trip
Search by location or the type of place you're visiting to find your next ideal holiday experience.
Read our articles, city guides and recommended things to do for inspiration. We're here to help you explore the UK.