COUNTRYSIDE COUNCIL FOR WALES
SITE OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST: CITATION
Grid reference: SH275790
Total Area: 911.0 ha
This site, which includes a variety of coastal habitats between Holy Island 'mainland' Anglesey is selected primarily for its ornithological and botanical interest. There are large areas of sandbank, mudflat and saltmarsh, as well as two stands of dune heath. The site also has marine biological interest. A wide range of water birds, both on passage and in winter, are attracted to the area which is especially important for overwintering ringed plover, greenshank, red breasted merganser and goldeneye. A number of coastal bird species also breed in the area, but the former importance of the rocky islands in the Inland Sea for their tern breeding colonies has diminished considerably in recent years.
On the mudflats there are beds of eelgrass Zostera spp and all three British species have been recorded. Saltmarsh vegetation fringes most of the site but only forms extensive stands in sheltered bays and estuaries; among the more abundant saltmarsh species present are common saltmarsh grass Puccinellia maritima, thrift Armeria maritima, lax flowered sea lavendar Limonium humile, sea rush Juncus maritimus and the invasive cord grass Spartina anglica; the uncommon golden samphire Inula crithmoides occurs in both saltmarsh communities and on parts of the rocky shoreline. The coastal dune heath at both Traeth y Gribin and Cymyran are interesting examples of this locally uncommon habitat type.