If you’re an ecologist, Lamplighter’s Marsh has scarce and rare species.
A painter or photographer? There are lovely flowers like the viper’s bugloss during the summer.
Watch the world go by – sit at a picnic table and watch the boats and the birds.
Walking – this is part of the Severn Way: stop-off at the Lamplighter’s pub .
Opposite the Lamplighter’s pub there’s a grey metal gate with a path alongside. Walk along here past the siren until you come to the Lamplighter’s Marsh sign. This is the beginning of the path known as the Yellow Brick Road, and it’s certainly not Kansas!
Lamplighter’s Marsh is home to plants such as Moth Mullein, Viper’s Bugloss, and Distant Sedge. It is the only known British site of the Ceratodon conicus moss. A Hornet Moth and Cetti’s warbler were reported here in 2015. Bee orchids are present in the Daisy Field between the Portway and the Severn Beach rail line. The adjacent tidal River Avon on the seaward side of the old sludge loading dock is part of the Severn Estuary SSSI, SPA and RAMSAR site. It influences the plant species nearer the M5 Bridge, as does its former use as railway sidings for the Avonmouth docks. It’s hoped to reinstate the wetland that gives the nature reserve its name.
It’s industrial past is almost hidden by nature reclaiming the land. There’s the former sludge loading dock now a private boat yard. Fence posts, lighting columns and short sections of rail track are the remants of the railway sidings. The concrete bases near the M5 Bridge are where the bridge sections were constructed. Marker posts and signs show where pipelines cross the River Avon.
Stop at one of the picnic benches and watch the boats when the tide is high enough. If the tide is too low, there’s always the wading birds in the estuary mud and, the occasional heron or cormorant overhead.