Date of Notification:

Site Area: 103.2 ha (approx)

1. Introduction:

This management statement contains CCW’s opinion of the way in which the SSSI should be managed in order to maintain its special interest. It also provides a basis for future discussions and decisions on the conservation management of the SSSI. It is important that any works described in this statement are fully discussed with and formally consented by CCW, before any of these management activities are started.

The document sets out a vision for the features of interest; it describes the key issues affecting those features and outlines any management considered necessary to safeguard the features.

It is very important to recognise that management may need to change with time. Problems that we are aware of today may be resolved or completely removed and new unforeseen problems may arise. New improved management techniques may also become available. Consequently the management outlined in this document is considered appropriate for the short term but may need to change in the long term.

2. Features of Special Scientific Interest:

2.1 Marine Plants , Animals and their Communities:

2.1.1 The best example of the communities of animals and plants typical of moderately wave-exposed limestone shores in the area between Bardsey Island and Great Orme’s Head.

2.1.2 Four species-rich communities of marine plants and animals:

2.1.3 Two communities of restricted national distribution:

2.1.4 A good example of marine community zonation patterns characteristic of moderately wave-exposed rocky shores.

    1. Terrestrial Plants, Animals and their Communities:

2.2.1 Wet heathland

2.2.2 Dry heathland

2.2.3 Unimproved neutral grassland and Maritime grassland

2.2.4 Flush mire

2.2.5 A large population of lesser butterfly orchid

      1. Breeding colonies of cormorants

2.3 Geological Interest:

2.3.1 Carboniferous Limestone exposed in dormant quarry and coastal cliffs.

As well as the features listed above, Arfordir Gogleddol Penmon has other habitats that are essential to the maintenance of the special wildlife interest. These include coastal grassland, calcareous grassland, acid grassland, flush, marshy grassland, scrub and bracken, together with hedgerows, individual trees, streams, shingle, boulders and rock outcrops. This diversity of habitats similarly supports a wide range of species and these too are a key component of the special interest of the site. Unless it is specified below, management of this site should aim to look after these habitats as well as the listed features of interest.

3. Long-term Vision for the Site and Features

3.1 Marine Plants, Animals and their Communities:

3.1.1 An excellent example of the marine communities typical of moderately wave-exposed limestone shores.

Twenty-five marine communities typical of moderately wave-exposed rock have been recorded at the site, making it the best example of this type of shore in this area. This range of communities should be maintained, subject to natural variation in the marine environment.

3.1.2 Four species-rich communities of marine plants and animals.

The rockpool and bedrock-overhang communities on the site should continue to be found here. Each contains at least ten major groups (‘phyla’) of plants and animals (such as worms, sponges, red seaweeds, shelled-animals) and the overall diversity of species in each community is high. The presence and diversity of these communities should be maintained, subject to natural variation in the marine environment.

3.1.3 Two communities of restricted national distribution.

The important lower-shore communities with seaweeds and piddocks should continue to be found on the site and should not decrease significantly in extent, subject to natural variation in the marine environment.

3.1.4 A good example of community zonation patterns.

Complete zonation of thirteen typical rocky shore communities (up to nine at any one point) currently covers over 5 km of the site. The extent of this zonation and the range of communities involved should be maintained, subject to natural variation in the marine environment.

3.2. Terrestrial Plants, Animals and their Communities:

3.2.1 Wet heathland

Wet heathland characterised by cross leaved heath and western gorse with Sphagnum moss should cover at least 11 hectares with a low and open structure which includes patches of bare ground and a suite of associated species including devil’s bit scabious, mountain everlasting and fir clubmoss.

3.2.2 Dry heathland

Dry heathland characterised by heather and western gorse including areas with calcareous species such as common rockrose and quaking grass should cover at least 3.5 hectares.

3.2.3 Unimproved Neutral grassland

Unimproved Neutral grassland should cover at least 2.3 hectares. Common knapweed, common bird’s foot trefoil and in places tormentil should be common within the grassland, which should support a good population of lesser butterfly orchid.

3.2.4 Flush mire with black bog rush

Flush mire with black bog rush should be found wherever water floods the surface.

3.2.5 Lesser butterfly orchid population

See 3.2.3 above.

3.2.6 Breeding birds

Breeding colonies of at least 75 pairs of cormorants should occur on the cliffs.

3.3 Geological Interest:

3.3.1 Carboniferous Limestone exposed in dormant quarry and coastal cliffs.

The Carboniferous Limestone exposed in the dormant quarry and coastal cliffs should remain fully visible and accessible for research and study of the Carboniferous geology of North Wales.

4. Key Management Issues:

4.1 Marine Plants, Animals and their Communities:

The marine communities of interest on the site should be retained in their present condition, as described above. These communities are in a very natural condition and the only management required should be monitoring, to periodically check on the condition of these features. Future possible threats include:

Trampling, as a result of intense visitor pressure, can have a detrimental impact on shore communities. However, it is not thought that recreational use of the shore at this site is of detriment to the marine features at present. Steep cliffs make many areas of the shore inaccessible and therefore a great proportion of the intertidal area is seldom visited. If trampling is perceived to be a factor in future, CCW will work with owners, occupiers and other agencies to provide information to visitors regarding the biological sensitivity of the site, with the intention of minimising disturbance to important features.

The cliffs that back the shore are subject to erosion during winter storms. Erosion is a natural process that is integral to the quality of the shore, however, and therefore proposals to carry out works which could disrupt the erosion of the cliffs, such as coastal protection works are likely to be discouraged to maintain the interest of the site. Issues of overriding public interest will, however, be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Other construction (e.g. jetties or pipelines) on the shore have the potential to disturb the natural processes of the shore both during construction and operation (for instance by altering tidal currents or wave exposure). We would work with the developer and other agencies (e.g. planning authority) on a case-by-case basis.

The marine communities are vulnerable to pollution from land and from sea, such as oil spills, slurry leaks and fertiliser run-off from farmland. Nutrient enrichment of the shore could adversely affect the diverse balance of life in the marine communities for which the site is notified and therefore should be prevented. In the case of outfalls and drains, the location of these will require discussion and liaison with CCW to avoid potential impact on the shore communities. Precautionary measures to guard against pollution incidents will be encouraged by CCW working with other statutory agencies with responsibility for pollution control, e.g. the Environment Agency. CCW, is involved in official pollution contingency plans.

4.2 Terrestrial Plants, Animals and their Communities:

Light grazing encourages the development and maintenance of dwarf shrub heath and is essential to remove the grassland crop (although hay may also be taken in summer). Cattle and horses are to be preferred as they are less selective in their grazing habits than sheep, permitting more plants to flower and set seed, whilst also breaking up dense clumps of gorse and helping to suppress bracken. They also produce minor poaching of the ground enabling seedlings to establish.

Low soil fertility helps heather and western gorse to compete against more aggressive agricultural grasses. Fertilisers encourage productive species such as ryegrass at the expense of the preferred meadow species which are tolerant of low fertility. The application of any fertiliser or slurry should be avoided and animals should not be fed with silage on the site.

Burning rejuvenates heather and gorse, encouraging grazing and can help reduce soil fertility. Controlled small patch burning of the heath should be carried out during the winter where appropriate. Fire-breaks are essential to maintain control of the fire and prevent the spread of wildfires which can cause serious damage to invertebrate and reptile communities.

Breeding seabirds require secure nesting sites, free from human or predator disturbance, and a reliable food supply. Food supply (fish) is outwith the remit of this statement. Nesting occurs extensively on the steep slopes and ledges 1 February to 31 July.

Maintain wildlife awareness of climbers, canoeists etc.

4.3 Geological Interest:

Although there is valid planning permission for limestone extraction from Tandinas Quarry, further quarrying is not incompatible with the conservation of the geological interest. If the quarry was to be reopened it should be possible to monitor the quarry faces at regular intervals during extraction, and such data would be invaluable to any future research on the Lower Carboniferous of Anglesey. Modern quarrying methods could create benches and lower quarry faces making the exposures more accessible. Towards the end of quarrying the positioning of the final quarry faces and benches could be designed to allow access to the key sections.