Somerset

Stephen Moss’s diaries

Wild Hares and Hummingbirds: The Natural History of an English Village”: Stephen Moss’s diaries from the village of Mark, ‘a misty marshy place’ with small fields, in the Somerset Levels. Review

Best for wildlife
Moss also writes in his 2016 Wild Kingdom

On a December bike ride around the fields behind our house I see barn owls and bullfinches, bouncing roe deer and lithe, fast-moving stoats, and the occasional peregrine, cruising over the fields in search of its prey. In June the verges of the lanes are awash with cow parsley and the pinkish-purple flowers of great willowherb; while whitethroats shoot up from the hedgerows to deliver their scratchy song, and skylarks hang even higher in the azure skies. If there is a better place to live in Britain –an even more wildlife-rich landscape, with so many exciting new inhabitants –then I’d love to know about it. In the meantime, for me, this is pretty close to paradise.

Oldest complete human skeleton in Britain

Dated at 9000 years old, Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton was found in Cheddar Gorge in 1903. Remarkably, DNA found in the man’s tooth in 1996 was tested with 20 local residents living in the area today and a local teacher Adrian Targett was found to be a direct descendant on his mother’s side, making him by some way the world’s most distant confirmed relative, for the time being.

Bristol: Best city for urban wildlife in Britain?

Steven Moss writing in The Guardian

Starlings

Westhay Moor in the Somerset Levels is famous for its remarkable starling murmarations. A striking sculpture part wood part metal celebrates their presence in the reserve.

Solsbury Hill

The top slopes of Solsbury Hill have been owned by the National Trust since  1930.

A major protest against the A46 bypass in the mid-1990s was waged here. On one day, 11 protesters, including environmental journalist George Monbiot, were hospitalised after being beaten up by security guards.

The hill is perhaps most famous for Peter Gabriel’s first solo single in 1977  Solsbury Hill.

Climbing up on Solsbury Hill, I could see the city light. Wind was blowing, time stood still, eagle flew out of the night.

If he saw anything, Gabriel would have seen a buzzard. Golden eagles have flown across the skies of southern England for a very long time.