The levels are rich in peat, and where the old peat works have been digging out the levels wonderful watery lakes are left and this attracts all sorts of birds and wildlife.
Somerset Wildlife Trust, Natural England and the RSPB all have reserves on the levels and perhaps most famous is Shapwick Heath, Westhay and Ham Wall a closely connected series of reserves, which recently have been made famous by the Great Crane Project (co-founded by RSPB and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust), which has over the past few years been releasing cranes back in to the wild - the first time they are back in the wild in the UK for over 400 years. The reserves have well made paths and walking them is easy, you can cycle some, and wheelchairs are welcome in many.
Sadly the centre was closed in 2009 due to county cut backs (but plans are afoot to reopen it).
But meanwhile the buildings have not remained closed. Indeed it was this that we vaguely knew about but had not visited until this weekend following a lovely walk in the reserves. The first lovely find was Somerset Crafts, a gallery and demonstration space for local artists. Lots of arts and crafts from oil paintings, to silk paintings, glass working, pottery, sculpture and more. And when we were there it was one of their many demonstration days with the artists themselves creating their works in front of you.
We now have a plan to buy some of the lovely pieces and put them in the cottage, but sell them at cost to guests if they take a fancy to them.
Hopefully all these good things will benefit from rather grand plans being put forward by Natural England and the Somerset Wildlife Trust for a new state-of-the-art sustainable education and crafts centre (with cafe). Watch this space.
Meanwhile, if you staying at the cottage then this is a must visit destination.