Cemlyn's Changing Coastline
Cemlyn is a place of big skies; a refuge for wildlife and a sanctuary for those wishing to escape everyday life. But we face a big challenge keeping it that way…
Climate Change: Challenge or Opportunity?
This two-mile stretch of National Trust land, half a mile from the village of Cemaes on the North Anglesey coast, is of exceptional environmental and cultural value. It is home to an internationally important colony of Sandwich terns, includes an historic mill and medieval church and was the site of Anglesey’s first lifeboat.
The estate includes two family-run farms, two smallholdings and is a popular destination for walkers, bird-watchers and kayakers.
But Cemlyn faces an uncertain future. Much of the estate is low-lying and is already affected by coastal flooding and erosion. Wildlife, historic features and the farming way of life are all threatened by climate change, raising serious questions about the future of the estate.
The land also sits right next door to the site of the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station which, if it goes ahead, will be one of Europe’s biggest construction sites.
If ever there was a need for a clear conservation vision, this is it.
Sea levels are rising. Since records began at nearby Holyhead in 1965 there’s already been a 17.8 cm rise in mean high water. By the end of the century, land currently being used for hay, silage and grazing at Cemlyn will be underwater at the highest tides. The shingle ridge that protects the islands which support 20% of the UK Sandwich terns may be breached and access roads, car parks and footpaths will be unusable.
" The 12 highest recorded high tides [at nearby Holyhead] have all occurred since 1997"
Seeking a shared vision
We’ve recently started to share our ideas for Cemlyn’s future with our farming tenants, conservation partners and the local community. This follows two years of detailed research, which has involved studies of the hydrology, geomorphology, soils and farming practices of the estate. A picture is emerging of threatened habitats, livelihoods and farming traditions that stretch back for generations.
" Our role is to defend the beauty and wildlife of this amazing stretch of coast. By working with our farming tenants and partners, we we can seize the opportunity of climate change to make it even better"
Check out the vision
We've prepared this summary of our Cemlyn vision. If you'd like more information or have any comments on the vision, please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know?
Did you know that Cemlyn was one of the first nature reserves in Wales and has a fascinating conservation history? Check out the main milestones in this conservation timeline document: