Coast & countryside
Top nature sites in Wales
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My first sighting of a porpoise
Tracey will never forget the first time she saw a porpoise in the sea just off Cemlyn beach Anglesey. It was a very special moment for her and she shares it with us.
The Welsh coast is home to one of only two semi-resident UK populations of bottlenose dolphins, most sightings of the 130 or so Cardigan Bay dolphins take place between April and September. Our dolphin hotspots are:
Mwnt, Penbryn, near Tresaith, Lochtyn, near Llangranog, Cwm Tydu, near New Quay, and Porth Ceiriad, near Abersoch.
A smaller relative of the dolphins, porpoises are more often seen in shallower water closer to shore in small groups of up to 10. They are much less acrobatic than dolphins and do not leave the water, just breaking the surface with their dark fin and rolling back. Our hotspots are Cemlyn, Cemaes, Fedw Fawr on Anglesey, Uwchmynydd on the Llyn Peninsula, and Marloes Peninsula in Pembrokeshire.
Approximately 5,000 grey seals live in the water around West Wales and can be seen year round. Pups can be seen between September to December.
One of the best places to catch a glimpse of seals is Morfa Bychan near Aberaeron. They are also often seen at Ynys Lochtyn, and Cwm Tydu near Llangranog in Cardigan Bay.
Special plants in Wales
- Yellow whitlow grass, a yellow wildflower only found on Gower
- Snowdon lily only stronghold in Britain is on the Snowdon mountains
- Spotted rock rose only mainland stronghold is on the Llyn Peninsula
- Prostrate asparagus. We’re working to save this rare plant on Gower and in Pembrokeshire
- Filmy fern found in our rare Welsh temperate rainforests like Henrhyd falls