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Work due to start on major conservation project at Newborough National Nature Reserve and Forest

22 Aug 2023 3 minute read
Previous Sands of LIFE work at Ffrydiau at Newborough National Nature Reserve and Forest. Photo NRW

Work is due to start this month on a series of conservation and restoration projects at Newborough National Nature Reserve and Forest on Anglesey.

The project at the internationally important site will see work carried out at two areas of low-lying dune slacks at Newborough Warren, as well as a wetland habitat extension at Pant y Fuches and Pant Canada.

Sands of LIFE, an EU-funded project led by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), which works to restore sand dunes across Wales, is carrying out the work.

Between September and November at Pant Canada, areas of bare sand, a new pool and a more natural wetland will be created to form a “pioneer” habitat for rare and specialised species including Great Crested Newts, Shore Dock, dragonflies and damselflies, mining bees and other invertebrates.

Pant y Fuches, a high-quality dune slack grassland supporting many species including marsh orchids, will be extended on one side by removing scrub, a small number of conifers and scraping away overgrown surface vegetation.

Work is expected to continue in to  mid-autumn.

At Twyni Penrhos standing dead trees, fallen timber and brash will be removed from the edge of the forest by the Commonwealth Trail to improve flower-rich grassland habitat.

This will improve safety and reduce fire risk and during this work the Commonwealth Trail in this area will be closed for the safety of the public.

Sand dunes

At Newborough Warren work will take place in two seaward locations to rejuvenate low-lying dune slacks and dry dune slopes, covering around one hectare each.

This will involve the removal of turf, lowering the bottom of the dune slacks to the water level and the creation of a new pool.

Mowing will also take place over nine hectares of the site between August and October to allow a wider range of flowering plants to thrive by controlling tall, coarse grasses, bramble and scrub while invasive alien species control will be undertaken.

Kathryn Hewitt, Sands of LIFE Project Manager for NRW, said: “We will be undertaking these restoration projects at Newborough to protect wildlife and improve biodiversity.

“Some of the work will involve heavy machinery, but in all cases the needs of protected species such as Great Crested Newts, sand lizards and Red Squirrels are taken into account as well as other interests such as archaeology and the safety of visitors.

“We would like to thank members of the public for their understanding during this period.”

Regular updates will be posted on social media at @TwyniByw on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook or by searching Sands of LIFE.

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Jason Bowen
Jason Bowen
7 months ago

Welcome news as a fellow ecologist.

On a separate note. The original Welsh name for the area was ‘Rhosyr’ and used to be an important parish before it was drowned in sand dune movements.

Why are we so inept or insensitive at recognising the Welsh native name?

Newborough was a name created by Norman English conquerors and used to replace local Welsh names when they set up a rabbit colony there.

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