Green light to revive wildflower grasslands on Pembrokeshire coast

Pony grazing the St David's Peninsula landscape

Fifty hectares of coastal habitat in Pembrokeshire will be revived for nature this year in a new conservation project by the National Trust.

We've received £40,000 from players of People’s Postcode Lottery to improve the condition of important maritime grasslands and coastal heath habitats in North Pembrokeshire to benefit a range of wildlife including chough.

The project will focus on restoring coastal management and reintroducing conservation grazing to a number of sites along 60 miles of coastline cared for by the Trust in Pembrokeshire.

Mark Underhill, our Countryside Manager for North Pembrokeshire, said: “This additional funding will enable us to accelerate the work we are doing with Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, neighbouring farmers and our tenants to ensure that the coastal slopes in Pembrokeshire continue to be grazed in a way that benefits nature.

“Grazing of the coastal slopes is a traditional farming practice that is critical to create the conditions where wonderful wildflowers like sea thrift, sea campion and kidney vetch thrive, and where chough can feed.

“Without grazing, especially with cattle, coarser grasses and shrubs like blackthorn and gorse dominate and we lose the fantastic displays of coastal flowers.” 

What will the project include?

Project work will include installing site infrastructure for livestock such as fences, gates and troughs, acquiring machinery to improve livestock management and organising public events to share progress.

It’s the combination of farming and funding that will help increase biodiversity and the wildlife within these coastal sites, as Mark explains: “The funding will allow the National Trust to make improvements in infrastructure and increase our vital conservation grazing initiative along the North Pembrokeshire coast.

“This means we can continue to have the benefits of the display of wildflowers and rich grasslands which are home to other wildlife like insects and birds that feed on the flowers and seeds.”

Other Trust projects supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery

As well as helping to restore the rich grasslands on the Pembrokeshire coast, the £750,000 award from players of People’s Postcode Lottery will be used to fund several other National Trust conservation projects, along with continuing support for Heritage Open Days. They include:

  • Creating lowland heath and wood pastures in Exmoor and Devon to give the High Brown Fritillary, the UK’s most endangered butterfly, a fighting chance for the future. 
  • Creating ponds, building bat boxes and installing infra-red cameras to monitor bat populations in the South Downs.
  • Restoring rich meadow and grasslands along a five mile stretch of the Durham coast.
  • Planting hornbeam, beech and field maple trees at Woodside Green near Hatfield Forest.
  • Protecting and restoring chalk grasslands at the White Cliffs of Dover, following players’ support towards the acquisition of land immediately behind the cliff face in 2017.