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Home » Learning About » Wildlife » Habitats

Habitats

Pembrokeshire lies at the south west extreme of Wales and is surrounded on three sides by the sea. Pembrokeshire's marine and terrestrial environments are strongly influenced by the North Atlantic Drift (an arm of the Gulf Stream) and support species found in both warmer, southern areas and those from colder, northern regions.

From this page you can take a quick tour of the principal habitat types to be found here, and their characteristic species.

Pembrokeshire is internationally important for many of its coastal, marine and lowland heath habitats, and of national importance for other habitats such as its ancient, semi-natural oak woodland.

These habitats support a large number of species occurring only in Pembrokeshire, or species for which the county is one of only a handful of sites where they occur in the UK or Europe. Some key species such as greater horseshoe bat and barn owl, are not restricted to designated sites or key habitats and are closely associated with man-made structures. Other species such as seabirds and choughs, contribute to the local distinctiveness of the county and the Park and are good indicators of the general health of the environment.

The high wildlife value of the Park is reflected by its conservation designations which include:


  • 13 Special Areas of Conservation (3 marine SACs overlap about 75% of the Park coastline and account for about 60% of the inshore area).
  • 5 Special Protection Areas.
  • 1 Marine Nature Reserve (Skomer) – one of three in the UK.
  • 7 National Nature Reserves.
  • 60 Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

Attention inevitably focuses on the Park's rare species and habitats covered by national and international designations for nature conservation. However it is vital that the more common species and habitats are maintained and that the potential of farmland and urban spaces to contribute to biodiversity are not over looked. It is also true that the more familiar hedgerow flowers and garden birds are “indicators” of the general health of the Park and county's wildlife and habitats and that any decline in the health of these species should set biodiversity alarm bells ringing.