Wildlife Wonders of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trail

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail twists and turns its way through 186 miles of the most breathtaking coastal scenery in Britain, from Poppit in the north to Amroth in the south.

It covers almost every kind of maritime landscape from rugged cliff tops and sheltered coves to wide-open beaches and winding estuaries.

Lying almost entirely within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park -Britain's only coastal national park - the trail displays an array of coastal flowers and bird life, as well as evidence of human activity from Neolithic times to the present.

  • The cliffs, headlands and coastal slopes through which the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail passes, support some of the finest habitats in the UK, such as coastal heath and flower-rich coastal grassland
  • Influenced by the county's mild oceanic climate and the prevailing south-westerly winds, the huge variety of habitats and species derives from a combination of the underlying geology, soil and aspect, as well as exposure to salt, winds and rainfall.
  • Cliffs and headlands exposed to salt laden winds are carpeted in spring with flowers such as thrift, sea campion, sea plantain and spring squill, joined by bluebells and foxgloves later in May. Other common species include bird's foot trefoil, kidney vetch and wild thyme, while grasses such as red fescue form a soft springy turf.
  • The rocky cliffs of the mainland and the offshore islands support large colonies of nesting sea birds with some of national and international importance.  On the island of Grassholm, for example, there are around 32,000 nesting pairs of gannets with puffins and manx shearwaters nesting in large numbers on Skomer and Skokholm.
  • The most familiar birds to be seen from the cliff tops are razorbills, guillemots, kittiwakes, fulmars and various species of gull, as well as shags, cormorants and the rarer choughs and peregrine falcons. The tidal mudflats of areas such as Angle Bay and Pembroke River host many species of waders and wildfowl.
  • Below the cliffs Atlantic grey seals breed in the sheltered coves in autumn, while dolphins and porpoises can be spotted in the coastal waters.
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