Skip to content

Restoring Marloes Mere Wetland

The mere with grassy bank above and four young swan pottering about in the water
Young swans on Marloes Mere, Pembrokeshire | © National Trust Images/John Miller

Marloes Mere is situated on the stunning Marloes Peninsula, combining spectacular geology, dramatic coastal scenery and a wealth of wildlife that thrive in this ancient wetland.


Whilst provision for visitors to the beach and Runwayskiln café is good, access to view the wildlife and experience nature on the mere could be improved.

But this is not a pristine wetland. Irrigation reservoir lagoons that were dug in the 1970's have left large banks of excavated material on the mere surface, smothering precious habitats and reducing the open expanse of the landscape

The wetlands at Marloes Mere, have had relatively little investment in recent times and are an unsung wildlife gem waiting to be explored. It is designated as an SSSI and removing the large banks around the southern reservoir lagoon will restore approximately 1.5ha of wetland habitats, reconnect the deep-water reservoirs to the surrounding wetland habitats and re-naturalise and open up views across the mere for people and wildlife.

The project also provides an opportunity to improve about 500m of Public Right of Way by relocating it to higher and drier ground within a newly created wildlife corridor.

This project will restore some precious wetland habitats at Marloes Mere which is already a birdwatching hotspot, whilst also making the mere and the surrounding coastline more accessible for visitors who are less confident in exploring the countryside.

A quote by Mark UnderhillNational Trust Countryside Manager

Our objective

The aims of the project are three-fold.

  • To restore about 1.5 hectares of wetland by removing the banks or bunds from around the southern irrigation reservoir. This will contribute to the overall condition of the wider Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
  • To improve access both to the Britton hide, and the Wales Coast Path by relocating part of the Public Right of Way (PRoW) (PP62/22) (that can become impassable on foot in winter), on to slightly higher and drier ground just to the south.
  • To improve views across the mere both from the Britton hide, but also from the Public Right of Way (PP62/22).

The project will involve significant construction works in the autumn and winter of 2023/24, with excavators and dump-trucks removing the bunded material from around the reservoir lagoons and placing it in the adjacent field (to the south)where it will be used to form a new hedge-bank, and a wildlife corridor with ponds. Within this corridor we will build a new farm track and footpath, to replace the current Public Right of Way (PRoW) (PP62/22) that leads past the mere and on to the Wales Coast Path. The current PRoW will remain open until we have completed the new footpath and applied for a Diversion Order to move the old path onto the new.

On the mere itself, where we have removed the bund material, we will have revealed an extra 1.5ha of wetland that has been buried since the 1970's. This will look very raw to start with, but nature and wildlife love a bit of mud, and we are confident it won’t be long before this area is buzzing with wildlife.

Meanwhile, the Britton Hide will remain in-situ with a new and commanding view over invigorated mere! The hide will be linked back to the new wildlife corridor and footpath via a raised path. The path to the hide will be planted with willow to help our visitors to blend into the countryside and reduce disturbance of the newly expanded wetland.

View the plans in more detail on this PDF

To see the planning application and associated documents please click her to navigate to the National Park planning portal PCNPA Planning (

Restoring Marloes Mere Wetland Project timeline

October 2023

It's getting muddy

The contractors got off to a flying start and removed most of the unwanted material from the mere by mid-October.  Then it started to rain!

The contractors are now back on site shaping the new hedge-bank, putting up permanent fences and installing some much-needed drainage!  The public right of way past the works will remain open during construction, with construction traffic overseen by banksmen.

We are making every effort to keep the footpaths safe and accessible, but please take extra care when visiting the mere this autumn.

We hope the weather will be kind and the work can be completed on time – we will keep you posted here.

Marloes Mere Wetland Project, Pembrokeshire
Marloes Mere Wetland Project | © National Trust Images/Mark Underhill