Coleridge Way

Watersmeet

Watersmeet

When Halliday, lover of Romantic poetry, built Watersmeet House in 1832, he had lines from a Wordsworth poem inscribed over its doorway:

"The spot was made by nature for herself:

The travellers know it not, and it will remain

Unknown to them; but it is beautiful:

And if a man should plant his cottage near,

Should sleep beneath the shelter of its trees,

And blend its waters with his daily meal,

He would so love it, that in his death-hour

Its image would survive among his thoughts."

 

At Watersmeet the East Lyn is joined by Hoar Oak Water and Farley Water, which both rise on The Chains, high on the moor, and meet a little way upstream from here.

This is one of the largest areas of ancient oak woodland in south west England, and a number of different whitebeams grow here, including one variety found only on the Exmoor coast. Another of Watersmeet's rare plant species is the euphorbia hybema, or Irish splurge, which is found in only one other site in mainland Britain.

The woodland is also noted for its wide diversity of breeding birds, including ravens, dippers, herons, woodpeckers, redstarts, pied flycatchers, ravens and various birds of prey. There are trout and salmon in the river, and sometimes an otter can be seen on the bank. Look out for deer, too.


 

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