What is ‘special’ about Penrhynoedd Llangadwaladr SSSI?

Penrhynoedd Llangadwaladr has 1 special feature.

As well as the feature listed above, Penrhynoedd Llangadwaladr has other habitats that contribute to the special interest. These include a complex mosaic of exposed rocky coast, (comprising rockpools, underboulder communities, lower shore cobbles and sediment subject to strong tidal currents) coastal grassland, sand dune and dune grassland. The latter is unusual in occurring on sand blown high over the underlying rocky headland. This mixture of habitats is important for much of the wildlife including breeding birds: chough, peregrine falcon, cormorant, shag, lesser black backed gull and herring gull. Sea wormwood grows here in one of its few North Wales locations.

Unless specified below, management of this site should aim to look after these habitats and species as well as the listed features of interest.

What do we want Penrhynoedd Llangadwaladr to look like?

The site should support dune fescue, sea stork's-bill, golden samphire, sea spurge and Portland spurge on the rocky shore, dunes and dune grassland. Sea wormwood should also be present. The site should support breeding chough, peregrine falcon, cormorant, shag, lesser black backed gull and herring gull. Areas of former improved pasture should be restored to coastal grassland. Populations of seaweeds and marine animals adapted to this environment are self-maintaining and should continue to thrive here.

What management is needed on Penrhynoedd Llangadwaladr SSSI and why?

Although Penrhynoedd Llangadwaladr is an excellent place for wildlife it will only remain so if the necessary management continues. CCW’s aim is to work with you to ensure that this management is carried out.

What does this mean in practice?

There are many factors that could damage the special features at Penrhynoedd Llangadwaladr if they are not properly managed. These are the ones we regard as most important:

Grazing: The site has a long history of livestock grazing, primarily of sheep and cattle. Light grazing enables the maintenance of the coastal and dune grassland and controls the development of scrub and the re-growth of Bracken. Coastal grassland is of interest for its invertebrate populations, including those favoured by Chough. Areas of short turf and bare ground are therefore important in this respect. Cattle or ponies can be used to graze areas of grassland, but a rest period to permit flowering and seeding is required. Animal dung is also an important resource for many insects (and fungi) and for the animals that feed upon them such as the chough. Avoidance of Avermectin type veterinary products, especially the long lasting bolus type application, enables this natural breakdown of dung.

Bracken Control: The spread of bracken on deeper soils may be undesirable if it invades valued habitats. Whilst bracken cover for pheasant rearing and shelter is useful at the site bracken can out-compete native species within the coastal grassland habitats. Control of bracken incursion using a combination of cattle grazing and / or crushing may therefore be necessary.

Low soil fertility: Low soil fertility enables native species within coastal grassland to compete against more aggressive agricultural grasses. The application of any fertiliser or slurry should be avoided. There should be no supplementary feeding with silage as this increases soil nutrient levels. Hay may be fed in severe weather, mineral licks used to enable the animals to digest coarse material and small quantities of concentrates to keep livestock tame.

Access restrictions: Low levels of disturbance and the control of most large ground predators encourage the presence of ground nesting birds. Careful management of public (and dog) access, in particular from February to July, would help maintain such undisturbed conditions.

Restoration: Some management is essential to restore former improved pasture, 2 ha of which is within the site, back to semi-natural coastal grassland. This includes an agreed programme of silage cropping, sheep and cattle-grazing regime and limits on cultivation or applications of agrochemicals and fertilisers.


Our knowledge of wildlife is far from complete. It is possible that new features of value may appear and new management issues may arise in the future, whilst other issues may disappear. This statement is written with the best information we have now, but may have to change in the future as our understanding improves. Any information you can provide on the wildlife of your site, its management and its conservation would be much appreciated.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your SSSI, or have any concerns about your SSSI, please contact your local CCW office.

Your local office is;

Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru/Countryside Council for Wales

North Region

Llys y Bont,

Ffordd y Parc,

Parc Menai,


Gwynedd, LL57 4BN,

Telephone: 01248 672500

Fax: 01248 679259