Nature Networks Funding helps boost island habitat

A fencing project will help improve habitat and biodiversity at two protected sites on Anglesey.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) carried out 350 metres of fencing work on land along the coast at Rhoscolyn to allow cattle grazing to help plants thrive and provide a better habitat for birds including choughs.

The work is part of NRW’s delivery of the Welsh Government’s Nature Networks Fund and took place at Glannau Rhoscolyn Site of Special Scientific Interest and Glannau Ynys Gybi Special Protection Area.

NRW worked with the landowners on the project, and they will undertake further fencing work.

A local grazier will introduce cattle once the project is finished with 23 hectares of land available for grazing.

Ifan Hywel, a member of NRW’s Mon and Arfon Environment Team, said:

“The fencing will allow the reintroduction of grazing to the site which is currently under-grazed. Cattle will remove dead vegetation and prevent plants and their flowers from getting buried under previous years’ dead growth.
“This will increase the number of flowering plants, such as heather, bell heather, spring squill and potentially the spotted rock rose, Anglesey’s county flower, helping to promote biodiversity.
“It also means choughs will be able to access invertebrates in the soil for feeding – they need short grass which they can get their beaks into.
“If the site was left, much of it would most likely turn into thick bracken, heather and gorse – a worse habitat for the choughs and for biodiversity.
“This is part of our wider work to tackle the climate and nature emergencies. The rate of biodiversity loss across the nation is accelerating, impacting on species who depend upon our natural resources.
“When we threaten biodiversity, we are threatening our food supply, our health, our jobs, our economy and our sense of place - which is why restoring nature for nature’s sake is in everyone’s interests.”

The Nature Networks Fund is a programme delivered in partnership by Welsh Government, National Lottery Heritage Fund and NRW to strengthen the resilience of Wales’ network of protected land and marine sites, supporting nature’s recovery while actively encouraging community engagement.