Peatland restoration for Anglesey Fens National Nature Reserves

A PARTNERSHIP project to restore the Anglesey Fens nature reserves is showing great signs of success, with rare wildlife returning to make their homes on the landscape.

That’s according to observations made by specialists in the fields of plants and peatlands.

Anglesey boasts three fen National Nature Reserves (NNRs) – Cors Erddreiniog (the largest), Cors Bodeilio and Cors Goch.

Together, they form part of the Anglesey Fens Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and are the UK’s second largest expanse of fens after East Anglia.

The National Peatland Action Programme, launched in 2020, is learning from past restoration to make sure that Wales delivers for both climate and nature.

Rare and endangered species such as the dwarf stonewort, greater bladderwort, medicinal leech and southern damselflies have been found this year in good numbers, and most in new places on the Anglesey Fens restoration and management areas.

Peter Jones, from Natural Resources Wales (NRW)’s National Peatland Action Programme, said: “The importance of managing fens can’t be over-stated.

“In good condition, fens lock in carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere contributing to climate change.

“Peatland restoration and sustainable management of fens is one of the National Peatland Action Programme’s six priority actions; the others being peat erosion, peat drainage, sustainable management of upland peatlands, afforested peatlands and hyper-modified peatlands.

“By addressing these six areas, the National Peatland Action Programme will be tackling the climate and nature emergencies.”

Emyr Humphreys, Cors Erddreiniog and Cors Bodeilio national nature reserve manager for NRW, said: “Pony and cattle grazing are essential for the long-term management of the fens and we greatly value the relationship we have with our neighbouring farmers in helping to deliver this.

“Grazing helps keep the vegetation open allowing space for these rare species to thrive.”

The National Peatland Action Programme, led by Natural Resources Wales and funded by the Welsh Government, is supporting a range of restoration activity across Wales to deliver further peatland restoration this winter in order to reduce carbon emissions and bring back wildlife to these special places.

North Wales Chronicle | Anglesey