Godney Marshes is a personal project to create a little more wild space at the heart of the Somerset Levels – a beautiful area of marshes, woods, wetland and wet farmland situated just south of the Mendip Hills near Glastonbury. My hope is to rewild, or perhaps just ‘wild’ my own land, providing a few more havens for wildlife in the landscape.
In the past this wetland was so extensive that it formed a kind of inland sea, criss-crossed with tracks and teeming with wildlife. One of the ancient names for Glastonbury – Ynys Wydryn – meant the Isle of Glass, possibly in reference to the still water surrounding it. Over the centuries the land was drained, farmed and settled. Despite this it never entirely lost its wild, damp character and in recent years habitat restoration, combined with re-wetting and the creation of nature reserves is bringing new life back to the area. This project is one more small piece of that process. The area will of course never be what it was, but it can be still be wilder than it is.
Starting in 2016 I now have 20 acres of land at two locations with the hope acquiring more in the future, and working with others interested in taking similar actions. The land will not be managed for any particular species. To begin with there may be a few interventions (i.e. by planting a few trees, a bit of light grazing or digging a scrape), but as much as is possible in such a small space, the fields will be allowed to develop as they will.
Watch this space for updates on the changing wildlife, blog posts and anything else that takes my fancy.