*Please note that the starlings have now moved on from RSPB Ham Wall and so the murmuration season is over for another year. We'd like to thank everyone for their understanding during these difficult times and to all those who played their part this season in keeping RSPB Ham Wall safe for our visitors, staff, volunteers and the wildlife that calls the reserve home.

RSPB Ham Wall remains open for essential, local daily exercise and has a host of species to spot from your daily walk including booming bitterns, sky dancing marsh harriers and feeding great white egrets. To find out more about the wildlife here at RSPB Ham Wall, click here, and for the latest coronavirus safety information please visit our dedicated page here.*

As you may know, starling season is our busiest time of year for visitors at RSPB Ham Wall and across the Avalon Marshes from October through to March. It is with great sadness that this year we are asking our visitors to try and visit an alternative local roost instead where possible, and to think carefully before travelling to our site due to the difficulties created by Covid 19 and the need for social distancing.

For the safety of all our visitors, staff and volunteers, we ask that if you can, please try alternative sites before choosing to visit us at RSPB Ham Wall – while we’d love to welcome you, the government guidelines on social distancing and maximum gathering sizes measures mean we cannot safely accommodate the usual large numbers of people who visit us.

Please visit starlingsintheuk.co.uk to find out where your local alternative roost is to visit  - we’d hate for you to be disappointed on arrival here at RSPB Ham Wall. If you’re travelling from further afield, there is also a great range of our other reserves that host starling murmurations that are worthwhile visiting instead, including:

 If the Avalon Marshes roost is your local roost, and you choose to visit us, please remember that the experience you may be used to at the reserve will not be the same this year. We ask that you plan your visit carefully and read the following guidelines to avoid disappointment:

  • Our car park will have limited spaces available for visitors – please do not be surprised if we have to turn you away due to reaching our site capacity. Please do not park on the road – be considerate of our neighbours and the need for emergency vehicle access at all times. If the car park is full or closed, then the site is at capacity - please return to visit the roost another day or choose a different roost to visit
  • We ask that all visitors be considerate of each other and work together to ensure that everyone can view the starlings safely, maintaining social distancing at all times. Please wear a face covering if you are able to wear one
  • The maximum group size able to visit our reserves together is 6, unless you are from the same household or bubble. Groups who do not follow this legal requirement will be asked not to enter our reserve.
  • Be mindful that our sites have a reduced toilet availability due to extended cleaning regimes
  • During weekends and over the Christmas period, we usually experience the highest number of visitors. Consider visiting outside of peak times such as weekdays or in the morning as the sun rises when the birds fly up spectacularly from the reedbeds. If you’d like to visit the reserve in the daytime instead, we also have some fantastic other wildlife to see such as bitterns, marsh harriers and majestic great white egrets
  • Parking costs £3 per car or is free for RSPB members (display membership card on your dash) in the RSPB Ham Wall car park. Payment is taken via credit or debit card. We will not be able to lend out RADAR keys for those planning to use our reserve blue badge parking so please bring your own with you
  • Be mindful of the sensitive habitat around the reserve - please stick to the paths and bring a torch to help you find your way in the dark. Please note that dogs are only permitted on the main track and footpath running along the Glastonbury canal (Red Route) at RSPB Ham Wall and must be kept on a lead at all times. Dogs are not permitted on Shapwick Heath NNR
  • There are no bins at any of the sites across the Avalon Marshes, so please take your rubbish home with you to avoid it harming our sensitive wildlife

We understand that a visit to the Avalon Marshes starling roost is an annual tradition for many and naturally people will be disappointed that the experience will not be the same this year. However, it is necessary that we ask people to consider everyone’s safety before visiting, including our own staff and volunteers as well as other site visitors. We hope that you are able to find an alternative roost to visit that you can enjoy safely, and the Avalon Marshes starlings will be here to greet you once it is safe for large groups to gather again.

Thank you all for your continued support and if you have not already, please do consider joining or donating to help fund the work of the RSPB, so we can continue to improve our habitats and reserves for both people and wildlife at this difficult time. For the latest from RSPB Ham Wall, you can follow our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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