History and Natural History of the Somerset Levels

Ref: C3528536

The Somerset Levels is the largest area of lowland wetland habitats in the British Isles. Large flocks of ducks and waders spend their winter in the flooded fields. While in spring and summer the meadows are home to carpets of wildflowers and alive with the buzz of insects. These waterlogged conditions support numerous archaeological sites, including ancient wooded track-ways dating back at least 5000 years. This course will investigate how the area has been formed by natural forces and the influence of people. All sessions will be fully illustrated including could include a site visit.

Course aim

An introduction to the wildlife, history and archaeology of the Somerset Levels.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Recognise the three main influences that have shaped the Somerset Levels
  • Name 10 species that are currently receiving conservation effort
  • Name 10 of the key wildlife sites in the Levels
  • List three nationally important archaeological sites found within the Somerset Levels

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Volunteer for conservation work with a wildlife or heritage organisation

Download full course outline

History and Natural History of the Somerset Levels Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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