Studying the local shoreline

Biology & Ecology

Material courtesy Dr. Barry Meatyard, University of Warwick (Head of Biology Warwick School – 1994). The Centre is ideally situated for a variety of coastal habitats:

  1. Typical rocky shores around Porth Gorslwyn with a variety of degree of exposure within easy walking distance (5min). Safe access with a good range of typical species. Worthwhile from Easter throughout the year.
  2. Sandy beach At Borthwen. Good for zonation of worms at low tide. Throughout the year.
  3. Whole area shows typical maritime clifftop flora in late spring and early summer.
  4. Four Mile Bridge offers good plankton collecting site – a net can be left to sample several hours of water flow.
  5. Also at Four Mile Bridge is good access to salt marsh habitat.
  6. Access to other maritime habitats by road is convenient – good sand dunes at Aberffraw or Newborough Warren (best in early summer), also shingle bay at Cemlyn (tern colony).
  7. Easy access to several sites of high conservation value with good relations with wardens. e.g.. South Stack RSPB reserve is a SSSI important for not only its birds (chough, nesting seabirds and peregrines) but also for heathland habitat supporting two rare plants and a good invertebrate community; and Penrhos, a coastal park area, where much creative management, planting schemes and the like have provided a rich natural history resource. These two sites provide excellent examples and study opportunities for the conservation options for A level Biology.
  8. There are several other sites of biological interest. Parys Mountain is an old copper mine where the settling ponds show a range of very low pH but colonisation by a number of species. The spoil heaps are colonised by heather which has a copper tolerant mycorrhizal fungal association. The Sea Zoo is a worthwhile visit for Biologists at all levels. The Menai Straits are well known for their biological interest.
  9. Perhaps as important is the flexibility of the Centre’s buildings for both laboratory work and opportunities for classroom activities.