Welsh Sand Dune conservation project to benefit from EU LIFE funding

Sand Dunes like those found at beautiful Merthyr Mawr, just outside Bridgend, are some of the richest places for wildlife in Wales but many of the rarest species have declined and in some cases disappeared as the dunes have become more stable.

Sand dunes are a naturally dynamic habitat.  As coastal winds blow, new dunes form and they slowly grow and shift to create the landscapes we know.

In recent decades many have become smothered by thick vegetation, however trials to re-mobilise dunes at Kenfig, Merthyr Mawr and Newborough Warren are already beginning to show signs of success, with the critically endangered fen orchid and many other species making a significant come back – so it was good to learn this week that Natural Resources Wales (NRW) are set to receive European LIFE funding for a £4 million project to improve the condition of 25 square km of sand dunes in 10 separate areas of Wales.

NRW will work with partners and landowners of the 10 areas, which include Kenfig and Merthyr Mawr Dunes and Carmarthen Bay Dunes in South Wales, the Dunes Between Abermenai and Aberffraw on Anglesey as well as Morfa Harlech and Morfa Dyffryn in Gwynedd.

Clare Pillman, Natural Resources Wales’ Chief Executive, said:

“We’re really excited about this fantastic project to save our dunes and the rare species which live there.

“The work will also give more people the opportunity to learn about our fascinating wildlife.

“Dunes are not only a backdrop to a day at the seaside – they are home to some of our rarest species and are in desperate need of help.

“This injection of EU LIFE funding means we can improve their condition and demonstrate our contribution to help deliver the Welsh Government’s Nature Recovery Action Plan.”