Date of Notification: 15 NOVEMBER 2001

Date of Confirmation: 7 AUGUST 2002

Site Area; 145.4 ha


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;

         Spectacular examples of folded rock formations.

         Lowland and coastal heathland.

         A large breeding population of chough.

         Populations of the rare spotted rock rose .

3. Long Term Vision for the Site and Features:

At least 40%, but preferably up to 50-55% of the site should be covered by lowland and coastal heathland The habitat should be of good quality with an abundance of heather and western gorse and should provide habitat for a wide range of birds, reptiles and insects. In areas where rocky outcrops jut out of the heathland, the habitat should be maintained in a condition suitable for the spotted rock rose which occurs in the thin crusts of soil with lichens, mosses and short grasses.

The exposed geology of the site should continue to be one of the best places in Great Britain to stud) folded Precambrian rocks. This geological feature should remain visible and accessible to bonafide geologists.


Eight pairs of chough currently nest on the cliffs and a breeding population of this size or greater should be resident, aided by sympathetic management of feeding zones in the surrounding area.

4. Key Management Issues:

4.1 Geology:


Students and researchers need access to study the formations. Where public access to the coast between Bwa Du and Borth Wen exists it should be maintained.


Activities which obscure the natural rock such as sea defence works or dumping of earth and spoil should be avoided.

4.2 Heathland:

Low soil fertility

Low soil fertility helps heather and western gorse to compete against more aggressive agricultural grasses. The application of any fertiliser or slurry should be avoided and animals should not be fed with silage on the site.

Light grazing

Light grazing encourages the development and maintenance of dwarf shrub heath. Heavy autumn grazing destroys heather. 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. They also produce minor poaching of the ground enabling seedlings to establish and providing a feeding niche for chough. Light levels of grazing should be maintained

4.3 Chough:

Habitat and feeding requirements

Short unimproved turf that provides accessibility to soil invertebrates is vital to support chough. Appropriate grazing levels should be maintained; this may be higher than normally required foi heathland maintenance and a programme of heavier grazing with periods of recovery, on a patchwork pattern, may be required. Livestock should be out-wintered.

Chough feed on insects found in animal dung. The use of avermectins should be avoided as dung from animals treated in this way is sterile and can not support insects.

Cloddiau are also important feeding sites. Grazing animals should have access to the cloddiau so that vegetation is grazed and kept short. Bank top fencing should be used rather than basal fencing.

4.4 Spotted rock rose:


Flowering plants of spotted rock rose are susceptible to sheep grazing in summer and the) should therefore, be excluded from these areas at this time of the year.