Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

Visiting Steart
Visit this wildlife wilderness opposite Burnham On Sea, Somerset

Stert Island Viewing TowerSteart is part of the Bridgwater Bay National Nature Reserve (NNR) and comprises 2,564ha located on the north Somerset coast on the south side of the Severn Estuary.

The reserve is part of a larger Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is a Special Protection Area (SPA) and is a Ramsar site, and part of the NNR is a possible Special Area of Conservation (pSAC).

A car park is provided within Steart village and a coastal path leads to a number of hides situated at the mouth of the River Parrett.

A tower (pictured here) provides excellent views all round, and an information panel caters for visitors who come either to birdwatch or walk the Parrett Trail following the river from mouth to source.

Significant habitats and species

Burnham-On-Sea Pier seen from Stert Island with marshland in the foregroundThe reserve consists largely of tidal mudflats and saltmarsh, sandflats and shingle ridges, some of which are vegetated.

Internationally and nationally important numbers of wintering and passage waders and waterfowl occur, and shelduck also moult within the Bay. Wigeon graze on the saltmarsh. There are ecological links to the adjacent Somerset Levels which provide additional roost and food sites.

Extensive areas of cord grass have spread from plantings in the early 1900s. Sea aster and common reed dominate the upper marsh, while more palatable grasses with sea couch grass are found on the grazed areas.


Wildfowling is permitted within three areas while the main body is a sanctuary. The saltmarsh is grazed by sheep to maintain a palatable sward for wigeon grazing. Coastal processes constantly change the area and a Shoreline Management Plan is being produced to assess the need for future input. The Environment Agency continues to repair storm damaged shingle ridges which protect inland property.

Hinkley Point Power Station can clearly be seen from StertLocation and access

Bridgwater Bay is situated on the North Somerset coast, near the A39 near Bridgwater. The nearest village to the site is Steart. There is an English Nature car park behind the site manager's house in Steart, although there is non-designated parking areas adjacent to the coastline. There is disabled access to the coastline by public roads. Disabled access to the hides is not suitable, although special arrangements can be made.


There are 5 bird hides, and a tower observatory at the site.

There is a path from the car park to the reserve through the woods, which is approximately a mile in length.

There is an interpretative panel in the car park, and also a leaflet dispenser.

Landing on Stert Island itself by boat or visiting it at any time of the year without a permit is not allowed. A permit is available by contacting English Nature.

Related Links:

Stert Island Swim

English Nature


This week's weather forecast
News for Burnham-On-Sea
Photo gallery
Tide times for Burnham

Events diary
Burnham-On-Sea library
Council & utilities
Housing associations
Doctors and dentists
Burnham Groups & Clubs
Schools in Burnham
Mother & toddler groups
Churches in Burnham
Refuse disposal points
Advice services in Burnham
More Burnham Web sites
Contact Burnham's MP
Local TV listings today

Visiting Burnham
Guide books on Burnham
Hotels and B&Bs
Send a Burnham e-postcard
Places to visit in the area

Maps for Burnham-On-Sea
Rail travel to Burnham
Visit Burnham by coach
Buses & public transport

Restaurants in Burnham
Somerset souvenirs
Property hunting in Burnham
Chemists in Burnham
Banks & building societies

Who we are
Contact Us
Advertise on this site
Bookmark this site