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:
- 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.
- Sandy beach At Borthwen. Good for zonation of worms at low tide. Throughout the year.
- Whole area shows typical maritime clifftop flora in late spring and early summer.
- Four Mile Bridge offers good plankton collecting site – a net can be left to sample several hours of water flow.
- Also at Four Mile Bridge is good access to salt marsh habitat.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Perhaps as important is the flexibility of the Centre’s buildings for both laboratory work and opportunities for classroom activities.