exclusive article by Jo Mullett


Swansea can boast a richness and range of habitats with a spectacular variety of endangered and much loved flora and fauna making it such a special place for locals and visitors alike.

Broadleaved woodland, ancient hedgerows, sand dunes, rocky shore, limestone cliffs, heathland, marshy grassland, rivers and wetlands are just a handful of the habitat types just waiting for you to explore. Over 50% of the species, and about 70% of the habitats identified as being a priority for nature conservation in the U.K. Biodiversity Action Plan, can be found in Swansea and are open to the public for everyone to enjoy.  

There are many special wildlife habitats in Swansea - the county incorporates protected designations of local, national and international significance. Swansea boasts the Gower peninsular - the U.K.'s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), two International Ramsar Wetland sites, four National Nature Reserves (NNR), five Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), a Special Protection Area (SPA), six Local Nature Reserves and no less than thirty two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Other areas protected for wildlife include a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds site and twenty four Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales sites.

Dedicated conservation teams, organisations and volunteers look after many of these reserves and some sites are so special they have more than one designation.

There are a wide variety of events, walks and talks within the reserves and about the wildlife that can be found here. Please see the links below for more details.  


National Nature Reserves

Oxwich, National Nature Reserve

Gower Coast, National Nature Reserve

Whiteford, National Nature Reserve

Crymlyn Bog and Pant Y Sais National Nature Reserve

Local Nature Reserves

Bishops Wood Local Nature Reserve, SSSI, Green Flag Reserve

Cwmllwyd Wood Local Nature Reserve

Killay Marsh Local Nature Reserve

Mumbles Hill Local Nature Reserve

Pwll Du Cliffs Local Nature Reserve  

Other Designations

Gower, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Clyne Country Park

Gower Heritage Coast , Mumbles to Penclawdd

Kilvey Community Woodland

Wildlife Corridor

Cadle Heath Nature Reserve

Rosehill Quarry

Washinghouse Brook

Dunvant Brickworks

South and West Wales Wildlife Trust Reserves

Berry Wood

Bolgoed Quarry

Broad Pool and Bog, Cilibion

Cwm Ivy & Betty Church

Gelli Hir Wood, Fairwood Common

Ilston Quarry, Ilston

Hambury Wood, Llandimore

Killay Marsh, Killay

Kilvrough Manor Wood, Parkmill

Llanridian Hill, Llanrhidian

Lucas Reserve

Peel Wood, Oystermouth

Priors Wood and Meadow, Three Crosses

Redden Hill

Redley Cliff, Caswell Bay

South Gower Coast  

RSPB Reserves

Cwm Clydach

Woodland Trust Reserve

Common Wood


Bat conservation trust    www.bats.org.uk

BTCV    www.btcv.org

Butterfly Conservation    www.butterfly-conservation.org.uk

Countryside Council for Wales    www.ccw.gov.uk

National Trust    www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Nature Conservation Team, City & County of Swansea    www.swansea.gov.uk

Royal Society Protection of Birds    www.rspb.org.uk

Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales    www.wildlifetrust.org.uk 

Woodland Trust    www.woodland-trust.org.uk 




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