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The Pembrokeshire Coast

Sion Prys Davies, MSc Biological Photography and Imaging, The School of Biology, The University of Nottingham.

Sion produced this wonderful piece of work as part of his MSc in Biological Photography, Sion produced this book for his summer project, all of the the photography was undertaken by Sion as well as the written content. Below is parts of the book as-well a large part of the photography he produced for the project.

A copy of the book can be obtained here

Contact Sion via Email    sion.prys@gmail.com

The criteria for designating UK National Parks, contained within the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, relate to natural beauty and diversity, opportunities afforded for open air recreation and closeness to centres of population. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park was designated in 1952. It is alone among UK National Parks because of its spectacular coastline. The high wildlife value of the Park is reflected by its conservation designations: 12 Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), 4 Special Protection Areas (SPA), 1 Marine Nature Reserve and 5 National Nature Reserves. The are also 60 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) accounting for 80% of the length of the National Park’s coastline, including 30% designated as Geological Conservation Review Sites. Inland the Preselis are the only major upland area within the Park with access on foot to 5000 hectares, courtesy of local landowners. Pembrokeshire lies at the south-western corner of Wales and is surrounded on all 3 sides by sea. Its marine and terrestrial environments are influenced by the Gulf stream (North Atlantic Drift. They therefore support a diversity of species normally found in both warmer southern areas and those from colder northern regions. Stretching in a 240 km strip around the coast of Pembrokeshire, the Park covers an area of only 629 square kilometres. At its narrowest point, Wiseman’s Bridge near Saundersfoot, it is only 200 metres wide and even in the Preseli Hills it is no more than 16 km wide. In 1970, a 300 km long coastal footpath, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, a National Trail,
was opened. This is also designated under the 1949 Act to enable public access on foot through the coastal landscape of the National Park. Although it is one of the UK’s smallest national parks, is has possibly the greatest natural diversity.

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The Park includes most of the county of Pembrokeshire’s coastal strip, the Daugleddau Estuary and the Preseli Hills. It is the only National Park with offshore islands and, with a resident population of around 24,000, it is the most densely populated. The maritime influences shapes land use and wildlife far inland. The Park boundary only extends to the mean low watermark, but
it is here where its at its most spectacular with magnificent cliffs,with textures moulded into folds, faults and other geological  features which have more recently been designated as Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological Sites (RIGS) Virtually the whole of the coastal strip is managed in a way that is sensitive to wildlife and as a result it has an extremely diverse flora and fauna, with many colonies of seabirds in particular of international significance. Between rocky headlands, natural process have eroded bays and inlets from small coves to broad sandy beaches, backed by dunes contrasting with the more rugged stretches of the coastline.

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