Steart Marshes Walk

Friday 2nd August – Steart Marshes & Stockland Bristol

Walk Leaders: Nick & Shelagh

The walk will start from the WWT Steart Marshes car park, plenty of spaces, free, toilets (OS140; GR 252452, TA5 2PU [I believe]) prompt at 1000. To get there, take A39 through Bridgwater to Cannington and then take the road to Combwich and Hinkley. Past the turning to Combwich (on right) the road does a series of bends and after several of these there is a brown sign on LHS of road pointing right to Steart Marshes. This road is narrow and twisty and you will usually meet traffic coming the other way - take care.

We will cross the road into the reserve and turn northwards on a firm path up the western side of the reserve. We will go past a couple of hides where there is an opportunity to see the wildlife and views across the artificially created wetlands and lagoons. We then turn west beside a field to the coast at Stert Flats in Bridgwater Bay walking towards Hinkley Point power station. Here we have a choice: walk along the top of the pebble dyke, good views to sea and inland but rough under foot and a bit of a scramble at the end or, along a track which runs alongside the dyke and is smoother but has restricted views.

We turn off well before Hinkley and head south through fields to the village of Stockland Bristol joining it by the church. We walk the length of the village and then on lanes to the south end of the reserve and so back to the car park.

We leave the car park and drive back to Combwich and The Anchor Inn (OS140; GR259424, TA5 2RA) for lunch. It is about a 10 minute drive. We expect to arrive for lunch about 1300.
The walk is approx. 4.75 miles, there is only one stile (dog friendly) and it is almost completely flat. There is almost no shade or shelter anywhere so take precautions if it is hot (or wet!).

24 walkers met in the car park at Steart Marshes on a warm and slightly overcast morning. The morning temperature rose as the sun began to break through the cloud. We stopped to look across the marshes from a couple of hides as we crossed the reserve though there was not a lot of wildlife to see.

Most walkers chose to walk across the pebble dyke to see the view. There was quite a bit of discussion as to which hills we were looking at and it was a bit merky so Wales was not visible. As we walked along the pebble dyke a couple of walkers picked up broken pebbles exposing fossils inside which was interesting. Our stop for coffee had a good view of Hinkley Point power station and then we headed back across farmland towards Stockland Bristol.

This walk will be remembered for the walk through the maize! Our leader stopped to consult his map and then said we need to go straight across this field. So off we set with most of the maize rising above our heads. Several cries of “where are you” and “hold up your walking sticks so we can follow” were heard. All arrived the other side. A head count was done to make sure! We crossed more fields and then across a field of golden corn to Stockland Bristol and then back to our cars.

It was a short drive to The Anchor at Combwich, who looked after us well. Everyone was in need of a cool drink! One walker had an icecream, but sadly for the other walkers the pub had run out of cones.
Report by Nicky