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Croeso i Ben Llŷn Welcome to the Llŷn Peninsula

Ardal o Harddwch Naturiol Eithriadol
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Looking along the peninsula from the summit of Yr Eifl

Much of the coast and hills of Llŷn are a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is one of only five such areas in Wales. The AONB was formed in 1957 and covers around a quarter of the peninsula. The AONB is split in two and the first section, starting from the south, begins at Carreg-y-Defaid, between Pwllheli and Llanbedrog and follows the coast right around past Abersoch, Aberdaron and along the north coast to and including Porth Dinllaen. This first section also stretches inland to cover Mynydd Rhiw and Garn Fadryn. There is then a break around Morfa Nefyn and Nefyn, with the second section starting just to the north-east of Nefyn, following the coast right along, almost to Pontllyfni. This section includes all of Llŷn’s peaks that rise to over 500m, these are Bwlch Mawr (509m), Gyrn Ddu (522m) and Yr Eifl (564m).

The designation of this area as an AONB is designed to promote and sustain the area’s beautiful scenery as well as it’s wildlife, which is in abundance. However, it’s not just the AONB that helps do this – there are also Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Nature Reserves, and the Heritage Coast.

There are two sites of special scientific interest that concern Llŷn - the most heard of is probably “Pen Llŷn a’r Sarnau” (The Llŷn Peninsula and the Sarns -shallow reefs in Cardigan Bay). This covers the wildlife of the coast and under the sea. The peninsula and the sarnau run parallel in a south westerly direction from the west coast of Wales towards southern Ireland. That may explain the name of the most northerly of the three sarnau in Cardigan Bay, Sarn Badrig (St. Patrick’s Causeway). At low tide, parts of this causeway completely dry out in the middle of the bay. Sarn Badrig runs out into the bay from Mochras (Shell Island), just south of Harlech, and is the biggest of the three sarnau. This causes problems for boaters navigating around the bay as at low tide, you need to go right out and around the causeway. Harbourmasters around the bay, however, can help guide you further on this should you wish to know.

The other SSSI is Cors Geirch, which is a large marshy area in the centre of the peninsula, and runs from Rhyd-y-Clafdy to near Edern. The marsh drains out to both the north and south coasts, into Afon Penrhos and eventually Pwllheli Marina to the south and into Caernarfon Bay at Aber Geirch to the north. The marsh is low lying land in the centre of the peninsula on a chalk base.

There are a few nature reserves dotted around the peninsula, one of the most remarkable is off Lon Cob Bach in the middle of Pwllheli. This reserve is in the middle of the town and shows that even in Llŷn’s main town, there is still an abundance of wildlife and that there are areas worthy of recognition for this. Other nature reserves include Pen-y-Banc and Parc-y-Borth both near Borth-y-Gest and Foryd Bay, at the extreme north of our patch, near Caernarfon, behind the main shore at Dinas Dinlle.

External Links:

Gwynedd Council AONB Unit
(Llyn.info is not responsible for the content of external links)

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