What is ‘special’ about Llyn Bodgylched SSSI?

Llyn Bodgylched has one special feature:

As well as the feature listed above, Llyn Bodgylched has other habitats that contribute to the special interest. These include areas of marshy grassland with scattered scrub and an area of open water. This mixture of habitats is important for wildlife including an assemblage of breeding birds (mute swan, tufted duck, teal, water rail, reed warbler) water voles and probably otters, many insects such as dragonflies and damselflies, along with unusual plants such as petty whin, saw-wort, blunt-flowered rush, grass of Parnassus and marsh helleborine. Scattered scrub increases the diversity of invertebrate species and provides cover and nesting sites for many birds. There is also a regular wintering flock of European white fronted geese. 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 Llyn Bodgylched to look like?

The site should support extensive areas of swamp, marshy grassland and open water. Yellow iris and greater pond sedge should be dominant in some areas with patches of common club-rush, reed canary-grass, bulrush, greater tussock-sedge, bottle sedge and bogbean. The fen should support lesser water plantain, greater spearwort and lesser tussock-sedge, whilst the marshy grassland should be species rich and support petty whin and saw-wort with blunt-flowered rush, grass of Parnassus and marsh helleborine around lime-rich springs. The site should support breeding birds including swan, tufted duck, shoveler, teal, water rail and reed warbler. Wildfowl such as shoveler and Euuropean white-fronted geese should use the site as a winter-feeding ground.

What management is needed on Llyn Bodgylched SSSI and why?
Although Llyn Bodgylched 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 Llyn Bodgylched if they are not properly managed. These are the ones we regard as most important:

Water levels: The water level in Llyn Bodgylched is determined by an embankment, dam and sluice. Maintenance of this outfall is essential. Changes in water level will impact on submerged and marginal water plants and the insects and waterfowl that depend on them. Therefore abstractions from the lake or changes in water supply from the surrounding catchment should avoid reduction in inflow streams or lake water levels.

Water quality: Aquatic and wetland plants and animals depend on the quality of water. An increase in nutrient levels (e.g. phosphate and nitrate) may promote growth of species such as ryegrass, reed canary grass and water lily at the expense of less vigorous species of greater conservation interest. It may also cause algal “blooms” which can de-oxygenate the water, leading (in extreme cases) to fish-kills and, by blocking light can smother other plants and also lead to increased siltation, reducing the lifespan of the lake. Artificial inputs of nutrients (and other pollutants) should therefore be minimised. There should be no applications of herbicides, pesticides, lime or fertilisers of any kind, including artificial fertilisers, slurry, manure and abattoir or creamery waste, in or adjacent to the SSSI or its tributary streams. Farmyard drainage and sewage or septic tank discharges must not be permitted to flow directly into the lake. There should also be no supplementary feeding of stock or dumping, spreading or storage of materials such as manure or silage bales on or adjacent to the SSSI.

Grazing: Light grazing is important for the maintenance of areas of marshy grassland to prevent a build up of leaf litter or scrub growth and to encourage a wide range of flowering plants. Cattle or ponies are generally the most appropriate stock for such areas. There are potential nutrient inputs from dunging and from stock feeding. Stocking levels should be determined by the carrying capacity of the land and no supplementary feed should be provided. No drainage or reseeding should be carried out within the marshy grassland. Grazing has potential impacts on swamp and lakeside vegetation and should be very light. Trampling of marginal plants could cause direct damage and also reduce the availability of bird nesting habitat. Livestock should be excluded from the water (except at drinking bays) to avoid nutrient enrichment.

Natural Succession: The lake is shallow and will undergo siltation in the long term, leading via natural succession to swamp and fen, then scrub or grassland. This natural process should be allowed if possible, as new features of interest will develop. However, insofar as the lake fulfils a water supply function on the Estate, intermittent dredging can be agreed to retain open water. Excessive siltation due to inappropriate management, such as nutrient enrichment, ploughing, overgrazing or land drainage in the catchment should be avoided. Opportunities should also be sought for new, replacement sites in the vicinity to create new lakes for this natural succession.

Our knowledge and understanding of wildlife is continually improving. It is possible that new 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, in particular, of the possible/probable impact of climate change. 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:
Countryside Council for Wales

Llys y Bont
Ffordd y Parc
Parc Menai
LL57 4BN

Telephone: 01248 672500
Fax: 01248 679259