The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park has a wonderfully varied cultural landscape of hills, valleys, cliffs, beaches, rivers and lakes. Added to this is the unmistakable human influence of thousands of years of endeavour – farm land, buildings, roads, hedgerows, woodlands, grasslands, earthworks, castles, standing stones – all monuments to our industry.
In the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority we are working to conserve a really fantastic living landscape; the wildlife of which has been shaped over thousands of years by generations of people working to provide a living for their families. These activities have left us with wonderful historic buildings and monuments; from castles to Iron Age forts to old fishing villages.
Land and sea-based ecosystems have been degraded over time and climate change will exacerbate existing pressures on wildlife, as well as adding new ones. Protecting wildlife sites is of key importance but it is not sufficient: habitat connections must be restored across Wales and the UK.
More people than ever are living in and visiting Britain’s National Parks and many people continue to make a living off the land. However, this landscape is vulnerable and it is careful land management that continues to shape and move our landscape towards a sustainable future.
Wildlife conservation success stories…
There are innumerable wildlife conservation success stories on sites in Pembrokeshire, but the wider countryside is fragmented by land uses and the marine environment is also under a lot of pressure.
Our aim is to promote ecological resilience measures and to reward farmers for catchment-sensitive, carbon-sensitive and connection-sensitive farming. Such measures would also help to add security to farm incomes, reduce flood risk, reduce food miles, contribute to food and energy security and reconnect people with land management and the food they eat.
The workings of today’s modern world means that many people’s lives are detached from nature in their day to day activities. People’s need to experience nature at various times in their lives, however, remains undiminished, as evidenced by the sheer volume of people who visit Britain’s National Parks and other beautiful areas of countryside. Providing people with the opportunity to access such an inspirational landscape hopefully encourages a sense of shared responsibility and pride in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, and conservation and sustainability are the two things that will hopefully ensure this landscape is here for future generations.