Posted: Thu 6th Jun 2024

Rare grassland on ancient Anglesey hillfort to be protected after improvement works

North Wales news and information

A protected species-rich grassland will be given a boost thanks to sheep grazing.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has completed 1,200m of fencing work at farmland at the Bwrdd Arthur site of special scientific interest (SSSI).

The 538ft flat-topped limestone hill on Anglesey is home to an iron age hillfort.

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

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

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.

Huw Jones, NRW’s local environment team leader, 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.”



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