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Dune rejuvenation (Carmarthen Bay, south Wales)

The Carmarthen Bay dunes are home to some 250 species of flowering plants, nearly 20% of the entire Welsh flora, but are currently under serious threat.

Large areas have become dominated by thick grass, shrubs (including invasive Sea Buckthorn) and conifer plantations, destorying the open sand habitat that many plants and invertebrates need to thrive. Some plants, such as Fen Orchid and dune mosses have already been lost.

Without action, more rarities will become extinct here. The Carmarthen Bay Dunes project aims to restore their fortunes.

- Our goals
- Under threat
- Who are we working with?

Our goals:

  • Remove the invasive Sea Buckthorn and some areas of pine plantation.
  • Restore open sand by removing thick vegetation and allowing wind to move sand around.
  • Allow the special coastal flowers and invertebrates to flourish again.

Work has started to clear 80 hectares of invasive Sea Buckthorn from the dunes, here at Pembrey (photo © Simeon Jones)


Under threat:

Fen Orchid (Liparis loeselii)

The rare dune form of this internationally protected orchid is now found only at Kenfig. It was lost from Whiteford Burrows in 2004 and, with the right management, we hope it will return. Numbers at Kenfig are increasing as a result of the restoration work we're doing there. Photo © David Carrington.


Sea Stock (Matthiola sinuata)

This beautiful plant produces rosettes of grey-green leaves and wonderful night-scented flowers. It a rare plant of the most exposed parts of the dunes, rooting down into the shifting sands, and is found only in the Channel Islands, north Devon and along the south Wales coast, where only 24 sites are currently known. Photo © Andrew Gagg/Plantlife


Petalwort (Petallophyllum ralfsii)

This remarkable little liverwort thrives on damp bare sand, the leaf rosettes folding up when dry. It has declined at many sites as they've become over-grown with vegetation but can return quickly once the open sand has been exposed again.



Who are we working with?