Invasive Species

Although there are almost 2,000 established non-native species in Great Britain, only a small number of these are considered to be threateningly invasive.  These include several species of plant, namely:  American skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus), broad-leaved bamboo (Sasa palmata), giant rhubarb (Gunnera tinctoria), Cotoneasters (Cotoneaster spp),  Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera), hottentot fig (Carpobrotus edulis), Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), pirri-pirri…

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Arable plant habitats

Cultivated habitats have been a widespread component of the British landscape for some 8000 years and a whole ecosystem of plants, birds, mammals and invertebrates has adapted to live in these habitats. However, arable habitats have been declining since the late 1800s, with these declines gathering momentum from the 1950s onward. During this period, the…

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Grassland habitats

Meadows and pastures Permanent pasture grassland in Wales accounts for more than 75% of the utilised agricultural land use area (i.e., 1.326m ha). Within this area of Welsh grassland, there are five UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority habitats, namely Purple moor grass and rush pastures (32,161 ha), Lowland dry acid grassland (36,473 ha), Lowland…

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Pollinator-rich habitats

The decline in pollinator populations is an ongoing problem that could have a dramatic impact, not only on the diversity of our habitats but also for the range of plants available for cultivation. The increasing area of monocultures and increased use of bee-killing pesticides are specific threats for honeybees and other wild pollinators. Some of…

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Species-rich road verges

With so much of the wider countryside agriculturally improved to deliver high productivity habitats, road verges offer a tantalising glimpse into the past, particularly of what the local meadows and pastures were like before agricultural intensification. These relatively small patches of flower and pollinator-rich grassland have survived because they were outside the field boundaries We…

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Winter stubbles and farmland birds

Winter stubbles, particularly weedy stubbles like the one shown here, have traditionally provided a source of food for farmland bird populations throughout the winter months. However, as a consequence of the decline in arable farming in Wales and the increased use of pesticides where cereals are still grown, there are fewer and fewer stubbles available…

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Yellowhammer breeding survey

The song of the Yellowhammer was a familiar sound in the Welsh countryside as recently as the 1980s when, for example, the Pembrokeshire breeding population was estimated to be between 13,000 and 18,000 pairs. Since then, their numbers have suffered a catastrophic decline and, in 2018, reports suggested that the Pembrokeshire breeding population may well…

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