The Vale of Glamorgan area is mainly a rural county and consists of rolling lowlands, which are bounded in the south by the coast that includes a 19km stretch of designated Heritage Coastline. The region contains over 22 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). Although predominantly farmland, the Vale supports a very rich biodiversity and a diverse range of habitats and species, including some globally and nationally threatened species such as the shore dock, the high brown fritillary butterfly and the great crested newt.
The Vale of Glamorgan Local Biodiversity Action plan was produced in 2002 in close consultation with the Vale LBAP partnership. Now re-invigorated as The Vale Nature Partnership following the implementation of the Wales Nature Recovery Action Plan, the partnership includes individuals, businesses, NGOs, community groups, recorders and public organisations.
Contact the Vale’s Local Nature Partnership Coordinator to find out more about the LNP and how you can help nature in the Vale.
The Vale of Glamorgan Nature Partnership exists to:
Halt the loss of biodiversity in the Vale of Glamorgan
Protect and restore existing habitats, as well as creating new habitats.
Educate and increase awareness on the importance of protecting our local biodiversity.
Provide volunteering opportunities for people to learn about local biodiversity and get involved in taking action for nature.
Support prospective and existing nature-based projects by offering resources and expertise.
Advise on appropriate action for conservation in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Facilitate partnership working to maximise our reach to inform and target action on nature’s recovery.
Developing a nature recovery network with partners, to engage the public, local community groups and organisations, as well as schools and businesses to take part in practical action for nature in their communities.
Working with partners to identify priority areas for actions within the Vale of Glamorgan that reflect the objectives of the Welsh Nature Recovery Action Plan and the opportunities identified within the Area Statement.
Supporting the development of projects that will deliver nature conservation aims as set out in our local action plans.
Become a member of the LNP
The Vale’s Local Nature Partnership runs projects and surveys that you can get involved in, get in touch to find out what is going on across the county.
Volunteering is a great way to help wildlife in the Vale and learn more about species conservation. There are lots of wildlife groups in The Vale, join the LNP to be kept up to date with volunteering opportunities!
Recording sightings of wildlife is important as this information can help conservationists to assess changes in wildlife population trends and work to identify factors that may driving positive or negative changes within species populations. Wildlife data can be used to inform decision-makers on species recovery priorities as well as influence protected species designations under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. Send your sightings of wildlife in The Vale to South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre.
Invasive species, harmful pests and pathogens are detrimental to our native wildlife. Find out more about biosecurity and the practical steps we can all take to reduce the risk of spreading invasive species, pathogens and pests when visiting the Welsh countryside.
Make Space for Nature
You can create a haven for wildlife in your own garden by providing vital habitats for our plants and wildlife. Learn more about ‘rewilding’ and how to create wildlife habitats here.
Home to the most Southerly point in Wales with 53km of coastline and extensive countryside, there are countless places for you to discover and enjoy nature in The Vale. From country parks, Local Nature Reserves to nationally important habitats, there are always places open to the public.
A haven for local wildlife and a designated Local Nature Reserve. The two flooded quarries have become a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) to protect Wales’ only population of Starry Stonewort. Discover over 20ha of broad-leaved woodland, walk along the boardwalk through the thick reedbeds and explore the wildflower-rich grasslands.
The Country park offers 220 acres of woodlands to explore (Mill Wood, Cliff Wood and Knockmandown Wood) as well as meadows and ponds within a sheltered valley leading to a pebble beach and spectacular cliffs.
The Glamorgan Heritage Coast stretches for 14 miles, from Aberthaw to Porthcawl.
Dunraven Park in Southerndown is home to The Heritage Coast Centre, an information and education centre managed by the Rangers who protect and care for this stunning coastline. Dunraven Bay forms part of the Southerndown Coast SSSI which spans 5 km of the coastline; designated for its geology and botanical value, the cliff-top grassland is species-rich hosting a range of different plant communities.
The midpoint of The Glamorgan Heritage Coast, the lighthouse meadow is a SSSI and a great place for spotting wildlife from rare Tuberous Thistles, Common rockrose and Clustered bellflower, to graceful Fulmars flying overhead and playful porpoises in the turbulent water by the sand bank.
Lies on the most western limit of the Heritage Coast. The River Ogmore attracts a wealth of wildlife all year round from Salmon and Sea trout to Golden-eye ducks and Lapwings. Across the River Ogmore, are the Merthyr Mawr Sand dunes; a National Nature Reserve, home to over a third of all plant and insect life in Wales!
Nature reserves are managed by a range of conservation and wildlife organisations that work in the county, most have information on site that explains more about the habitat and wildlife you can see there. There are even opportunities to get involved with local conservation groups to help manage habitats for wildlife!
A Local Nature Reserve, rich in wildlife; The Wildlife Trust for Wales have helped to record over 1000 different species here, 62 of which are of principle concern to the conservation to the biodiversity of Wales.
A 4 acre reserve consisting of woodland and meadow, managed by the Birchgrove Wood Conservation Group
Cwm Talwg Woods
A Local Nature Reserve in Barry, 2.85 ha of mature deciduous woodland managed by the Cwm Talwg Woodlands Residents Group.
A community Nature reserve with over 300 species of flowers, grasses, insects and birds.
Woodland Trust Reserves in the Vale:
The Vale also has an extensive network of footpaths and countryside walks throughout the county. Get out and explore!