Virtually all of the accessible sandy beaches in Wales attract large numbers of people throughout the year, whether local walkers and dog walkers during the winter months or tourists throughout the rest of the year. The level of human disturbance on sandy beaches in Wales has had a negative impact on the biodiversity associated with them. In the past, oystercatchers and ringed plover were regulars breeders on Welsh beaches, but there are few breeding reports from accessible beaches in recent times. Parties of migrating waders can sometimes be seen feeding near the waters edge or feeding on sand hoppers and other invertebrates along the strandline, but they are soon disturbed and move on. Even the species of invertebrate associated with strandlines, such as the strandline beetle (Nebria complanata) appear to the declining at their traditional locations as any sizeable pieces of wood are harvested for barbecues.
At present, there are few, if any, sections of the Welsh coastline that are out of bounds to provide breeding, feeding or roosting areas for birds in Wales, so it takes only a very small number of people to prevent birds from breeding, feeding or resting. Similarly, the same seems to be true for birds attempting to feed or rest offshore as disturbance by kayakers, windsurfers and jet skis is increasing with every passing year. Ideally, in the future there will be a more sympathetic strategy that allows wildlife to co-exist alongside a burgeoning human population that has more time and resources available for recreation. As things stand, although aesthetically pleasing, most sandy beaches in Wales are devoid of any associated biodiversity interest.