Somerset Levels IPA

Location: Bounded by Taunton to the south, Glastonbury in the east and Clevedon in the north east.

Grid Reference: ST 422 428

Somerset Levels IPA has been recognised as one of 165 Important Plant Areas in the UK.

The key features of this IPA are:

  • The species richness of vascular plant in raised and blanket bogs
  • The species richness of stoneworts in surface standing waters
  • The species richness of vascular plants in surface standing waters, Mesic grasslands and seasonally wet and wet grasslands
  • The Somerset Levels and adjoining moors form the largest area of lowland wet grassland and associated wetland habitat remaining in Britain.

    They are of outstanding importance for their rich patchwork of reedbeds, mires and fen meadows and network of 8,000km of rivers and ditches. Covering about 35,000 hectares in the floodplains of the Rivers Axe, Brue, Parrett and Tones, the majority of the area is only a few metres above sea level. It drains via a large network of ditches, rhynes and rivers.

    The levels are particularly important for stoneworts, however a variety of wetland wildflowers can also be found in the area, including carnivorous sundews, bright yellow irises and vivid pink tufts of meadow thistle.

    The M5 between Bristol and Bridgewater runs through the area.