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Avalon Marshes Visitor Centre, Shapwick, Somerset

Avalon Marshes Visitor Centre, Shapwick, Somerset

Landsmith Associates was appointed by Orme Architecture/Kier and Natural England to design a new landscape masterplan to regenerate the Avalon Marshes Visitor Centre part of Shapwick Nature Reserve. 

We collaborated with Orme to change the grey, hard, frequently flooded car park into a lush green and welcoming landscape. Due to its ecological and landscape-sensitive areas, there are particular details in the selection of materials and planting selection to suit site conditions. Planting details were designed by Flavia Goldsworthy.


Our design creates a new landscape that refers to the local landscape character and better reflects the identity of the nature reserve.  The proposals included a new entrance and arrival space, an informal play area reforming the dipping pond, softening the car park and alleviating localised flooding in an area with a high water table. It also included sensitively enclosing the restructured historic buildings and Viking boat, a new education building and a covered seating area for the cafe.


The masterplan was approved in January 2019 and planned construction in two phases. Phase 1 was completed in May 2019.  The groundwork was completed by Kier Contractors whilst Landsmith oversaw the planting works were completed by Artisan Landscape.


In June 2023, the next phase of work included a cafe, bioretention ponds, wetlands restoration, tree planting, native wildflower planting, swales, permeable paving and more. The overall biodiversity net gain is 90%.  Landscape works were completed by Elmtree Landscape Contractors   

Phase 5 is estimated to start in January 2024

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Orme Architecture / Kier Contractors

and Natural England


Avalon Marshes Vistor Centre, Shapwick Nature Reserve, Glastonbury, Somerset

Completion Date

Phase 1 - May 2019

Phase 4 - June 2023

Phase 5 - to be confirmed


Finalist for the CIRIA 'Habitat Creation Project of the year' 2023

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