Specially adapted, salt-tolerant plants really are all over the place at Cwm Ivy-here is some Thrift Armeria maritima growing on one of the trees..!
Coastal adaptation in action at Cwm Ivy
Welcome to the Cwm Ivy saltmarsh restoration project site
Cwm Ivy marsh, on the North Gower coast, was claimed from the sea as farmland in the 17th Century. It was protected by a sea defence which over the years was increased in size and strength. Now after nearly 400 years the embankment has been breached and the sea is reclaiming the land.
Looking to the future
Rather than repairing and maintaining the breached sea wall in its original state, we are now focusing our efforts on looking for alternative ways to ensure we can maintain access and helping the area adapt to a changing coastline.
It's a decade since we released the Shifting Shores report which held one clear message … as a nation we can no longer build our way out of trouble on the coast. This means at sites such as Cwm Ivy we no longer try to defy nature by holding back the tide, instead we let nature takes its course.
The sea wall at Cwm Ivy was breached by storms in 2014, and a new area of wildlife-rich salt marsh is now developing. But working with nature isn’t straightforward. We appreciate that the breach in the sea wall has resulted in the loss of a popular circular walk and is an source of frustration for many.
From before the breach we’ve been doing weekly monitoring surveys for plants, birds, mammals, invertebrates and sediment. This builds up to a unique record of saltmarsh restoration which will be useful for planning similar projects elsewhere.
" The rate of change has been amazing. In the first year after the sea wall failed, we were finding plant species we’d expect to see after about 5 years. "
Planning to visit Cwm Ivy?
Check out the Trail below and download this poster we comissioned for one of the bird hides. Cwm Ivy Cheriton Hide Panel (PDF / 1.3701171875MB) download
14 Dec 17
Saltmarsh plants get everywhere
07 Nov 17
Here are the latest addition to our Gower team-these fantastic Welsh Mountain ponies are perfectly adapted to living on the marsh. They are doing a vital job for us, keeping the habitat at its very best for nature.
18 Oct 17
Dawn at Cwm Ivy
It’s always worth getting up before the lark to watch the sunrise over Cwm Ivy marsh-how beautiful is this picture, taken from one of the bird hides