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Sarn Badrig
 
The coastal waters of the peninsula as well as the Sarnau (a series of reefs) in Cardigan Bay are a designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC), one of the first kinds of designation to reach out into marine environments. Sarn Badrig is the most northerly of these reefs that stretch out into Bae Ceredigion (Cardigan Bay) towards Ireland - as the name suggests (Badrig is from the Welsh for Patrick). These reefs were formed at the end of the last Ice Age when glaciers drained into the bay, depositing all the material they had accumulated from the high mountains of Snowdonia.


Sarn Badrig, about 2.5 miles southwest of Mochras (Shell Island) just south of Harlech. Pic: Ian Warburton

The water drained from three valleys, which are now consequently river valleys and the three main estuaries that drain into the bay today. The rivers are: the Glaslyn (Porthmadog); the Mawddach (Abermaw/Barmouth) and the Dyfi (Aberdyfi).

At low tide, parts of Sarn Badrig dry out, as demonstrated in the photo above, which was taken 2 and a half miles offshore! Sarn Badrig is the largest of the reefs in the bay, and care needs to be taken by boaters to avoid the "causeway" as it is known. To the southwest end of the reef is "the causeway buoy" and this marks the safe water around the end of Sarn Badrig. It is essential to speak to your local harbourmaster before attempting a crossing over the reef, as you can see from the photo, it is something you don't want to run into!

For more information on Pen Llyn a'r Sarnau SAC, click here...

 

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