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Work completed to protect under threat habitat at site of ancient hillfort

16 Jun 2024 2 minute read
Bwrdd Arthur. Photo by Peter Barr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has completed work to protect an under-threat habitat which is home to an iron age hillfort.

NRW has put up 1200m of fencing work at farmland at Bwrdd Arthur Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a 538ft flat-topped limestone hill on Anglesey.

Bwrdd Arthur is one of the most significant limestone sites in north west Wales, featuring calcareous grassland and rare moss species.

Biodiverse

These habitats are among the most biodiverse and under threat in Europe and a recent survey of the site found the conditions of the grassland to be ‘unfavourable and declining’.

The new fencing will allow grazing to be better controlled on the SSSI, preventing the spread of scrub and maintaining open habitats to allow species, such as common rockrose, hoary rockrose and ivy broomrape to recover and promote biodiversity.

‘Multiple benefits’

Huw Jones, NRW’s Environment Team Leader for Mon and Arfon, said: “We are pleased to be working with the landowner on this project which will deliver multiple benefits.

“Limestone grassland is one of the rarest, most diverse and species-rich habitats we have in Wales.

“Grasslands like these are good carbon stores and when managed carefully, lock in carbon and boost biodiversity. We have lost a significant amount of species-rich grassland in the UK, so managing these areas well is a priority.

“Effective grazing is a fantastic alternative to using machinery, saving time, cost and the use of fossil fuels and will help maintain open habitat, allowing it to recover where it had previously been covered by gorse or scrub.

“Ensuring this site, which is close to other limestone sites, is in good condition, will help the resilience of the ecosystem and species it supports, contributing to the resilience of Wales’ natural environment as a whole.”

Bwrdd Arthur is one of the largest and best-preserved ancient hillforts on Anglesey and and is believed to have been occupied both before and during the Roman invasion.


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