Porlock Marsh & Beach

Beautiful Pebble Beach and Walk in Porlock Somerset
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Beautiful Pebble Beach and Walk in Porlock Somerset

Porlock Salt Marsh covers an area of 460 acres and lies behind a long shingle ridge that forms Porlock Bay and was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1990.

In 1996 Hurricane Lili breached the shingle ridge, inundating the low-lying marsh creating a hole in the ridge which could no longer be repaired. It was decided to follow a policy of ‘managed retreat’ and let nature takes its course. You can now see the remains of well-established trees as sculptural skeletons, having regularly been flooded by sea water on the highest tides of the year.

The Bristol Channel has the second highest rise and fall of tides in the world and on tides over 10 metres the footpaths on the marsh become flooded.

Plants such as glasswort and sea purslane thrive in the brackish and frequently flooded salt marsh as well as samphire. Closer to the shingle ridge you will find plants including sea beet, sea plantain and fennel.

Good 'birding' is available all year round with regular viewings of Oyster Catcher's, Eurasian Curlew, Little Auk, Common Redshank and Common Shelduck. During the Spring and Autumn migrations there are regular sightings of birds including Osprey, Snowbunting, Spoonbill,and Turnstone

The marsh is a ¾ mile level walk from the centre of Porlock village or about ½ mile from Porlock Weir crossing the shingle ridge to get to it.

Important Information

Remember to keep dogs on leads when crossing fields that are home to livestock.

Please also keep dogs on lead during the spring and summer, as the marsh is a habitat for ground nesting birds.

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