Natural Anglesey

The island is a haven for wildlife and has a wealth of different habitats.

Anglesey-NewborouAnglesey’s mild maritime climate and mix of different habitats provide ideal environments for a wealth of plants, which in turn attract the birds, mammals and insects which feed on them.

The Menai Strait has marine life of worldwide importance. The whirling Swellies, by the Menai Bridge, are amongst the fiercest currents in the British Isles and are home to bass, cod and conger eels. Newborough Warren is now part of a National Nature Reserve, important for its sand dune habitat and all manner of wildlife. The woodland along the Menai shore is home to hares, foxes, bats and the rare red squirrel. Birds of prey include the kestrel, barn owl, sparrow hawk and buzzard.

The island’s central area is very low lying and contains some of Anglesey’s most ecologically important habitats, including the National Nature Reserves of Cors Goch and Cors Erddreiniog. Inland, fens such as Cors Goch support a wide variety of interesting and unusual orchids, as well as butterflies, dragonfly and damselflies, while the pine woodland at Newborough is home to the rare red squirrel and birds such as crossbill and siskin.

Anglesey’s importance as a haven for wildlife is apparent in the number of national and local nature reserves throughout the island. The 125 mile coastline, most of which is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, includes sandy and stony beaches, inaccessible cliffs, mudflats and brackish lagoon and is especially rich in bird life. There are spectacular seabird colonies on the cliffs at South Stack, Holyhead, where guillemots, razorbills, chough and stonechat nest. There is also a large colony of Puffins here and on Puffin Island off Penmon. Offshore you may see porpoise and grey seal with their pups.

Cemlyn Bay with its lagoon, shingle spit, rocky shore and headland is an important breeding site for sandwich and common terns. Around the coast in Red Wharf Bay spot the reed warbler, little egret, shore lark or water pipit among the marsh and scrub.

The estuary and lake at Malltraeth, where the famous wildlife artist Charles Tunnicliffe lived and worked for 35 years, is renowned for waders and for wildfowl such as shelduck and pintail. Anglesey is a good place to spot some rare birds too; past visitors have included sooty shearwater and yellow-browed warbler.