Ham Wall is a wetland teeming with wildlife - from rare species like water voles and otters to magnificent birds like bitterns and kingfishers. Enjoy stunning views across the marshes to Glastonbury Tor and enjoy getting back to nature in this magical place.
The reserve has more than 3 miles (5 km) of trails. The Main track is a wide and raised hard standing surface with vehicular access to two designated blue badge holder bays providing easy access to Veiwing Platform 1, three viewing screens and the Tor View Hide via wheel chair accessible boardwalks.
The main track has multi user access and is used by pedestrians, cyclists and also has limmited motor vehicle use.
Travel by public transport
On arrival there is 120 space car park with five Blue Badge spaces in the main car park.
The Visitor Welcome Building is mainly staffed by volunteers and is open every weekend 10am - 4pm and most weekday 10am - 4pm subject to volunteetr availabiltiy.
The car park, toilets and reserve trails are open 7 days a weeks. Car park and toilet opening times are seasonal and can be found on the Ham Wall web page.
Two Blue badge spaces are located 20 metres from the main entrance of the reserve and the Visitor Welcome Building. Two More Blue badge spaces are located by the Shapwick end entrance on to the reserve.
The car park is on a level hard standing surface with no inclines.
Parking is free for RSPB members and blue badge holders. Please display RSPB membership card or Blue Badge on dashboard. There is a parking charge of £3 for non RSPB members.
Car parking tickets are available from a car park machine at the main entrance of the reserve next to the Visitor Welcome Building.
There are an additional 2 Blue Badge spaces on reserve located at the entrance of the Waltons trail that can be accessed by RADAR key. RADAR keys can be borrowed from the Visitor Welcome Building in the main car park when open.
Vehicular access to alternative disabled parking is along the main reserve track which is accessed by turning right out of the car park and the next immediate right. A RADAR key is required to unlock a chained and padlocked metal five bar gates along the route. The gate must be closed and securely locked on both entry and exit.
There is an elevated railway bridge just after the first gate. There is a significant slope on either side of the bridge.
The entrance to the parking area is on the right hand side opposite Viewing Platform 1 and is 750 m from the main car park. Vehicles are not permited on the main track beyond this point.
A RADAR key is required to unlock a chained and padlocked wooden five bar gate at the entrance to the accesible parking area. The gate must be shut and securely locked after both entry and exit.
The designated parking spaces are on a flat grass surface located at the start of the Waltons Heath Trail.
This parking area allows access to Viewing Platform 1, the Ham Wall Loop, Reedbed Trail and Walton Heath Trail.
Path to main entrance
Access to the main entrance is via decking with gently sloping edges.
The main door consists of a hung door which is secured open during opening hours. Sliding doors are also present which can be open to 2 different positions when weather permits and to allow access. The sliding door is secured in it's opening position during opening hours.
The entrance in to the buidling is 750 mm when sliding doors closed and up to 1880 mm when sliding doors are open
There is a raised lip on the door threshold to enter the Welcome Building from the decking. The elevation is 20 mm.
Getting around inside
Toilets at Ham Wall
Baby changing facilities are also available in the accessible toilet.
The toilet is locked via a lift handle mechanism
An emergency cord is located next to the toilet and when pulled activates an alarm and flashing light which is visible and audible from the Visitor Welcome building.
The sloping ramp to the toilet block is 1170 mm in width.
The toilets are open the same times as the car park. Available on the Ham Wall Web page
Visitor Welcome Building
The Visitor Welcome Building is a small wooden building approx 6000mm x 3000mm.
There is wooden flooring throughout. Wooden work units work units run along the entire length of the back wall of the building. Self service hot drinks facilities are available. Assistance can be given on request.
A log burner is installed in the building and is surrounded by a guard rail.
A video screen is present in the building showing video clips and live camera footage from the reserve. There is no audio available.
Getting around outside
The Mini Marshes
The Mini Marshes is a mini wetland that has been created adjacent to the main car park.
It contains a picnic area, covered shelter, pond dipping platform and a play trail for younger visitors.
By the Visitoir welcome building are 2 sets of veiwing screens looking in to a wildlife garden and bird feeder. The screens have a hard standing level gravel surface and have viewing holes at various heights. The screens are uncovered.
The Picnic Area in the Mini Marshes has four Picnic benches with seating for up to 6 people and 1 wheelchair space at each bench. The seating at the benches have no backs or sides.
All benches are located on a grass surface and are securely fixed to the ground.
Alternative undercover seating is available in the wooden shelter located in the same area.
The wodden shelter is located in the Mini Marshes area adjacent to the car park. It is a wooden structure with wooden decking style flooring used for education visits but can also be used as a shelter / undercover picnic area by visitors. The shelter will not be available for visitor use iof there is a scheduled school visit or event.
Fixed wooden storage boxes runnning along the back and sides of the building also act as undercover seating. These are 480 mm in height.
Access to the shelter is via an open grassy area or alternativiely via a gravel path from the car park.
There is a pond dipping platform that is used for education visits and events. The platform is accessible from a grass area and is decking constructed from wooden planks with a kick board on three sides.
There is short trail loop around the Mini Marshes 220m in length that is a gravel surface through out.
There is one wooden seat in the Mini Marshes. It has a back and arms.
Ham Wall Loop
The Ham Wall Loop is 3230 m in length following the hardstanding old railway path and then grass trail after crossing the Glastonbury canal. The hard standing part of the Ham Wall Loop has multi user access and is used by pedestrians, cyclists and also has restricted motor vehicle use.
Dogs are permitted on a lead on the Ham Wall Loop but are not permitted along the path to the Avalon Hide and any other areas of the reserve. Assistance dogs are permitted through out the reserve and to the hides and screens.
The Ham Wall Loop is accessible from the main car park and Mini Marshes via wooden boardwalks. Each is 1880 mm in width and the surface is covered with chicken wire.
After crossing the boardwalk from the car park there is a metal five bar gate described in the arrival section. The gate is securely locked by a padlock and can be accessed using a RADAR Key available to borrow from the Visitor Welcome Building when open.
Accessing the Ham Wall loop from the Mini Marshes avoids the locked gate and cycle barrier.
Next to the gate is a barrier to prevent motorcycle access but allow wheelchair access. Entrance to cycle barrier is 800 mm in width at the widest point and 480mm in width at the narrowest point
There is an elevated railway bridge after accessing the main track from the Mini Marshes.There is a significant slope on either side of the bridge.
A wooden seat is located along the track 250m from the main car park and consists of a back and arms.
Along the Ham Wall loop is Viewing Platform 1. It is an open viewing area over looking a large area of reedbed. It has a gravel surface and bench type seating with no backs or sides 580 mm in height. It is opposite the blue badge parking at Walton Heath and is 600m from the main car park.
There is both five bar gate access and kissing gate access from the Ham Wall loop to the Walton Heath Trail and the Reedbed trail. The wooden five bar gate can be opened using a RADAR key. The kissing gate is 1250 mm in width.
There are two foot bridges crossing over the Glastonbury Canal from one side of the Ham Wall Loop to the other. The first bridge is located after the Viewing Platform 1 and the second footbridge is located after the Viewing Platform 2.
They both cross over from a hard-standing surface to a grass surface Public Footpath.
At the first bridge there is a sloping gravel path leading to it from the Ham Wall Loop. The bridge is wooden in stucture with a boardwalk base covered in chicken wire. The base of the bridge is 1800mm in width. There are wooden handrails on either side of the bridge. The exit is on to the grass surfaced footpath is level.
Viewing Platform 2 is a viewing area accessible from the main track over looking an large area of reedbed. The surface from the main track and the platform is flat. It has a gravel surfaced open area with bench type seating with no back or sides 580 mm in height. It is approximately 1250m from the main car park and 650m from the alternative disabled parking within the reserve.
At the second bridge there is a sloping hard standing path leading to it from the Ham Wall Loop. The bridge is wooden in stucture with a boardwalk base covered in chicken wire. There are wooden handrails on either side of the bridge, the bottom half of these are covered with a mesh barrier. There is a wooden five bar gate at the exit of the bridge. This is secured by a metal latch. The exit from the bridge on to the grass surfaced footpath is level.
From the Ham Wall Loop there are two gates leading on to the Loxton's Marsh trail. These are described in the Loxton's Marsh trail section.
The section of the Ham Wall Loop on the opposite side of the canal is an uneven grass footpath, Vegatation and grass can grow longer at certain times of the year leaving the surface wet. Throughout the winter and at times of heavy rainfall the surface can become very muddy and difficult to pass in places.
There are three wooden seats located along the grass path between the first and second footbridges. The seats have both backs and sides and overlook the reedbeds along the trail.
There is one wicker viewing screen located along the grass footpath between the first and second foot bridges. It has an uneveb dirt surface and no seating. it is not covered.
The return of the Ham Wall loop along the grass footpath finishes at the road 40m from main Car Park. This part of the Loop is exited via a wooden stile and wooden five bar gate. The gate is secured by a padlock and can be accessed via a RADAR key. Cars and other motor vehicles are not permitted on this part of the path.
The Avalon Hide is accessible via an 400m path which leads from the Ham Wall loop between the first and second footbridges.
The Avalon Hide
The Avalon Hide is a raised two storey hide located on a path 400m from the Ham Wall Loop. It over looks a large area of reed bed and the lower storey offers panoramic views of the reserve. It is 1500m from the main car park and 800m from the Blue Badge parking at Walton Heath.
The path is an uneven grass path leading from the grass path on the Ham Wall Loop. Access to the path is via an unsecured kissing gate with an entrance 1250mm in Width. A five bar wooden gate is adjacent to the kissing gate. This gate is securely locked and can not be accessed by visitors. Dogs apart from assistance dogs are not permitted in the Avalon Hide or along the path to it.
The first part of the path is an uneven grass path which leads to a wooden bridge crossing a ditch. Th Rubber matting is in place directly before the bridge and the bridge surface is wooden covered with chicken wire. Hand rails are present on either side of the bridge and the base is 1800 mm in width. Rubber matting is present along the rest of the trail until the Avalon Hide is reached. In parts the trail is enclosed by reeds at either side and is 1200 mm at it's narrowest points. There are sloping sides to either edge of the trail in parts and there are no kick boards in place.
The whole trail can become very muddy and water logged during the winter and after periods of heavy rain. It may be subject to closure in extreme circumstances.
The Avalon Hide has two storeys and the first storey is accessed via a wooden sloping boardwalk which is covered with chicken wire and has rails on either side. It is 1500 mm in width and accesses on to the lower level which consists of wooden decking with a minimum width of 1600 mm encircling the entire perimeter of the hide. The boardwalk is enclosed by an open topped wicker screen which included open viewing slots located at different heights around the whole structure.
The second storey is accessed via a flight of 14 steps 800 mm in width. The staircase opens to a large wooden surfaced enclosed viewing area with glazed opening hide windows on one half of the building. The bottom half of the windows open inwards and upwards and are fixed in place using a hook running from the side of the buidling to the side of the window.
The seating is plastic chairs whith backs but no sides. The seating is not fixed and can be moved around for convenience.
Walton Heath Trail
The Walton Heath trail is a 1900m circular grass track around an area of reedbed overlooking Glastonbury Tor.
Dogs apart from assistance dogs are not permitted on the Walton Trail or to the viewing screens and Tor View hide.
The trail is accessed from the Ham Wall Loop via a kissing gate / five bar gate opposite Viewing Platform 1. Alternative Blue Badge parking is available here (see previous sections).
The track is an uneven grass path throughout and can be wet through out the year. The track can become muddy and water logged in winter and after periods of heavy rain. The trail may be closed in extreme conditions.
There are 5 wooden seats along the trail. These all have back and arms. One open viewing screen with bench type seating with no backs or sides is located on the trail.
At the start of the Walton Heath Trail a wheelchair accessible 200 m boardwalk leads from the blue badge parking to 3 viewing screens and through the wetland.
The boardwalk is made from recycled plastic with a raised non slip surface and kick board on either side. The board walk is 1200 mm in width through out.
Each viewing screen has bench type seating with no backs or sides and are 480 mm in hieght. The screens are contructed from wood and all have a roof. The screens all have viewing slits which are 900 mm from the ground.
The flooring in each screen is recycled plastic decking. There is a slight incline on the approach to each screen.
Beyond the viewing screens a hard surfaced track covered with rubber matting leads to the Tor View Hide. The track is 1500mm in width with kick boards on either side. There are two passing places along the track both 2150mm in width. There is one wooden seat with both a back and arms llocated along the track.
The Tor View Hide is accessed via a sloping wooden board walk covered in chicken wire 1500mm in width, There are hand rails either side of the board walk.
The Tor View Hide is a covered wooden structure with sides on all aspects. There are six wooden benches located on either side of the length of the building. The wooden benches are moverable and have no backs or sides. There are open viewing slits 900mm from the ground on each side of the length of the building. There is space with in the building for wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
The Reedbed trail is a 500m accesible boardwalk loop through part of Walton Heath. The trail is accessed from the Ham Wall Loop via a kissing gate / five bar gate opposite Viewing Platform 1. Alternative blue badge parking is available at Walton Heath (see previous sections).
Dogs apart from assistance dogs are not permitted on the Reedbed trail.
The board walk is constructed from recycled plastic and is 1500mm in width throughout, with kick boards on either side. There is one passing place on the boardwalk 2400mm in width. There is a piece of board walk that leaves the Reedbed trail and goes around a wooden otter memorial sculpture. As part of the loop a length of boardwalk goes over and area of open water. There are handrails on either side at this point. At the end of this part of the board walk ther is low barrier to open water.
The Reedbed trail leads to an open grass area. There is a wooden seat with a back and arms located here. There is a wooden pondipping platform over open water. There is a kick board surrounding the platform but there is there are no handrails present.
There is circle of wooden stepping logs at various heights in this area.
Loxton's Marsh trail
The Loxton's Marsh trail is 1300m in length and is accessed via the Reedbed trail on Walton Heath or through two gate along the Ham Wall Loop.
The trail is rough grass which can be wet at any time of the year. Parts of the trail can be muddy or waterlogged in the winter and after periods of heavy rain. The trail may be closed in the winter depending on the condition of the paths.
The first access point from the Ham Wall Loop is via a bridge over a ditch and through a kissing gate. The bridge is has a wooden surface covered in chicken wire. There are wooden handrails on both sides of the bridge. There is a slight sloping descent to the bridge.
The second access point from the Ham Wall Loop is via a kissing gate and 5 bar wooden gate. There is a slight descending slope to gates. The five bar is securely shut with a padlock which can be accessed using a RADAR Key.
There is one viewing screen located on the Loxton's trail this has a back and roof and bench type seating. The seating has no backs or arms. There is no further seating on the Loxtons trail.
Customer care support
Emergency evacuation procedures