A favourite walk for many local residents, Seaton Marshes is a Local Nature Reserve with a wide variety of wildlife, especially wild fowl and other birds. Awarded a Green Flag for its natural history, access and facilities, it also has a community focus with events throughout the year, including some 'wet and wild' weekends with many activities for all ages, as well as regular 'meet the birds' sessions at the bird hide.
A freshwater grazing marsh, most of the area is off-limits to humans, ensuring a safe haven for the wildlife. Also, some parts are used as grazing farmland for sheep and horses. However, apart from the main path running along the periphery, there are also some designated areas of access, including a long stretch out to the bird hide which sits near to the tram line running alonside the River Axe. A water treatment plant for the town is also situated on the edge, where treated waste water is released below ground into a run-off to the sea, and around which there is a nature trail.
The photo above and those below are of Borrow Pit, a beautifully serene deep pool with a wooden walkway part way across the southern end.
Borrow Pit is a civil engineering term for an area in which earth has been scooped out for use elsewhere, leaving a deep hole. In this particular case the earth was used to create banks alongside the path out to the hide; the lake suitable for deep water wildlife.
I've visited and photographed the marshes many times over the years, but have never been altogether satisfied with my photos...too many disparate images according to the seasons and weather, none of which seemed to go together. However, in late November 2010 I found out that Borrow Pit is accessible, which I didn't realise before, and decided to try out a replacement camera there.
I've mostly used those photos for this page. The first photo at the very top was from a previous visit however, and shows a view from the path leading out to the bird hide, which also joins with the trail surrounding the water treatment plant and access to Borrow Pit. Buildings beyond the peripheral path show the proximity of the town (a very small seaside town). It's only 10 to 15 minutes walk from my house to the marshes (depending which access I use) yet is a place totally in the wild. More photos in the Gallery show the other areas as well as various accesses and overlooks.
The two photos above were taken near the northern end. Just behind where I took them is a circle of benches surrounding a fire pit. A great place to spend some time with friends around a camp fire, burnt sausages in a bun, and a few beers. ;)
The lowering sun really picked out the willow tree in the photo above. Although still quite early in the afternoon, late November with it's slanting sun from the south-west caused some fabulous sillouettes when viewed from the northern end of the lake.
More photos of these, and other parts of the marshes at differing times and seasons, can be seen in the Photo Gallery album.