Swansea’s Unique Natural Environment
The City and County of Swansea’s natural environment is of outstanding quality and beauty. The diversity of landscapes and habitats which make up over 80% of the County’s total area include upland moorland, coastal cliffs, sandy beaches, heathland, woodland, wetlands, river valleys and estuaries.
These habitats together with the many historic parks and gardens, pockets of urban green-space and large areas of farmland make it one of the most attractive and ecologically diverse counties in the UK, with over 50% of the County’s area being of significant ecological interest. This wealth of wildlife habitats supports a huge diversity of species. Nearly 70% of the habitats and at least 20% of species which are identified as being of importance for Biodiversity Conservation in the UK can be found in Swansea, and approximately 17% of the County’s area is protected by designations at a European (SAC, SPA, RAMSAR) or National (SSSI, NNR) level.
These designated areas and priority habitats represent only the very best of our biodiversity. They do not, however, encompass all that is irreplaceable and cannot by themselves maintain biodiversity. Even common habitats, urban wildlife sites and green spaces, are important in maintaining a network of semi-natural sites, and the quality and extent of the biodiversity resource as a whole.
Collectively, these unique natural qualities make Swansea a special place to live and visit and contribute significantly to quality of life, and the economy of the area.
Swansea’s Biodiversity Partnership
The partnership is an active group with representatives from many organisations and individuals united by an interest in conserving, enhancing, and raising awareness of Swansea’s biodiversity. These include relevant local authority departments, the charitable conservation sector, landowners, and professional and amateur naturalists.