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Case Study 6: the Ynyslas National Nature Reserve
Transcript of Case Study 6: the Ynyslas National Nature Reserve
design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
Ynyslas is on the West Coast of Wales
The Dyfi estuary is a beautiful and unspoiled, rural location, which has been classed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest since the 1950's and a National Nature Reserve since 1969.
The reserve features sandy beaches, sand dunes and mudflats, which are home to many rare plants and animals.
At low tide the remains of an ancient submerged forest with stumps of petrified oak, pine, birch, willow and hazel are exposed on the beaches.
A Site Of Special Scientific Interest:
Leisure Activities, including: walking, riding, sailing, bird-watching and kite-flying.
To admire the beautiful landscape
To walk dogs
Why Do People Visit the Dyfi National Nature Reserve?
The area of Ynyslas is managed by the Countryside Council for Wales.
The council has two main aims. These are:
1. 'To protect, maintain and, if possible, enhance the wildlife of the reserves and their outstanding physical features.'
2. 'To allow as much public access as compatible with the primary aims of conservation and research.'
However, these aims are difficult to achieve in harmony, since too many visitors may disturb the wildlife or damage the fragile physical features, such as the sand dunes themselves.
The Countryside Council for Wales:
10 km North of Aberytwyth
It is 3 kilometers South of the Dyfi Estuary
Submerged forest stumps exposed on Borth sands near Ynyslas at low tide.
At the start of some BBC 1 programmes it shows people flying kites on sand dunes and this was filmed at Ynyslas!
3 km South of the Dyfi Estuary
Dyfi National Nature Reserve visitor centre.
Ways in which visitors threaten the wildlife and natural features:
Visitors walking their dogs may damage the landscape features by allowing their dogs to foul on the beaches. (As well as being aesthetically unpleasant, this can negatively impact the quality of the top soil). There is very little bacteria that is available in the sand to biodegrade the excrement, so the mess remains on the beach for a long time.
Too many walkers may erode the sand dunes and cause erosion scars to develop. This is not only aesthetically unpleasant, but may disturb the wildlife, make vegetation unstable and affect the areas natural defenses.
Due to the vegetation being destroyed by too many walkers and off-road vehicles, the sand-dunes have been exposed to the wind, which has eroded large holes called 'blow-outs'.
Visitors having picnics may damage and disturb the wildlife and scenery by leaving litter.
Insensitive nature walkers may disturb the rare species that inhabit the area by getting too close. For example, rare species of song bird nest in the shingle areas of the reserve and are easily disturbed by visitors.
Path made by walkers through Marram tussocks, on sand dune in Cornwall:
How has the management of Ynyslas and the Dyfi National Nature Reserve changed over time?
Conservation management began at the reserve in 1969.
The council's first act was to prevent damage to the sand dunes from vehicles by sinking posts into the beach to prevent access. Wooden boardwalks were constructed in two places on the reserve, to prevent erosion from trampling.
Wooden board-walks are used to provide a path among the dunes and reduce further erosion. This boardwalk was photographed at Three-Cliffs Bay, Gower Peninsula, Glamorganshire.
This is a board walk in the nature reserve, that allows visitors to walk across the Cors Fochno (Borth Bog).
In the 1980's, the Conservation Council were worried that too many visitors were causing erosion to the sand dunes and that the blow-outs' would not recover. To combat this, areas were fenced off to prevent trampling. Traps with brashings (branches and wire) were constructed as well as marram grass planted to encourage layers of sand to be deposited by catching sand grains in the wind and stabilising the dunes. Signs were also put up around the reserve to inform the public of the management taking place.
In the 1990's, the fenced off areas previously installed were removed as visitors walking around the perimeter of the fencing had created new trampled paths where vegetation struggled to grow.
The council decided to accept sand erosion as a natural process. They did not want to hinder this process as it is important for creating habitats for rare plants.
Litter bins installed in the 1990's were removed due to rubbish overflowing and littering the beaches. The council also found that species of rare bird, living and nesting amung the dunes, were easily disturbed by visitors. Consequently, they fenced off the area where the birds nest to prevent public access.
Ringed Plover is a protected species of bird that live and breed on the reserve.
Also in the
A large population of rabbits live in the dunes. The council like a healthy rabbit population since the rabbits benefit the dunes in several ways. They keep grass from growing too long and choking the less competitive plants. Furthermore, the rabbit dung makes the soil more fertile and helps to enable as many as 40 different species of flowering plants to grow in just 1 square meter of ground. In addition, some birds make nests in abandoned rabbit burrows.
So what is threatening our furry little friends?!
The reserve shares a boundary with a golf course that despise the rabbits for making holes in their pristine putting green.
But never fear! In the 2000's the county council, being the heroes they are, rescued the situation by creating a rabbit-proof fence between the reserve and the golf club, providing a safe haven for the rabbits, where they can happily hop, dig and munch away to their hearts content.
The only downside to this master plan is that occasionally the fence can develop holes and this is very costly to maintain.
In Recent Years...
More recently, the county council have enlarged and improved the visitor center and board walks. The development of the board walks have meant that everyone can easily cross the site to visit the beach, without causing erosion to the sand dunes. It also provides wheelchair access to the visitor center.
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