Located in the heart of the Somerset Levels and moors, Greylake is the perfect place to get closer to nature. Thanks to all the water, you can see Lapwing, Redshank and Snipe nesting in the spring and vast flocks of ducks and waders being hunted by birds of prey in the winter.
In spring, bird song fills the air at this Somerset nature reserve and, in summer, you can spot dazzling dragonflies and beautiful butterflies gliding on the wing. But winter is when Greylake truly comes alive. Wrap up warm and while away hours in the hides watching the many different species of ducks and waders, such as Golden Plover, Lapwing and Wigeon, fly up in colourful clouds. They may have been spooked by a passing Marsh Harrier, another bird of prey, or perhaps an Otter swimming beneath the surface.
Watch elegant egrets and stately herons fishing along the edges all year around. Keep a look out for the shy Water Rail and listen for its squealing call.
Greylake nature reserve is a mix of habitats including, reedbed, open water, rough grassland, willow scrub and wet grassland. This rich blend attracts a wide range of bird, mammal, plant, insect and reptile species. All these habitats are close to access routes and hides. The trails meander through the reedbed and scrub and alongside the ditches and open water, while the hides and screens give great views over the wet grassland. This means it's really easy to spot and photograph an array of wildlife throughout the year.
All the habitats are managed to keep them in great condition for wildlife. Cattle graze the fields during the summer and tractors and diggers are used to help manage the plant life through the autumn to create the right conditions for wintering and breeding birds.
Water level management is crucial and sluices are adjusted to make the site wetter in the winter and spring, and dry it out a little in the summer, so management can take place. The scrub is also managed in the autumn to keep it in the ideal condition for nesting warblers. As well as managing the habitats for the wildlife, we also manage and control plant growth to try and provide the best viewing and exploring conditions for our visitors.