|Cemlyn: A place of big skies, seabirds and storms. (c) NT/Joe Cornish|
But we face a big challenge keeping it that way…
Climate Change: Challenge or Opportunity?
This two-mile stretch of National Trust land, half a mile from the village of Cemaes on the North Anglesey coast, is of exceptional environmental and cultural value. It is home to an internationally important breeding colony of Sandwich terns, includes a historic mill and church and was the site of Anglesey’s first lifeboat.
The estate includes two family-run farms, two smallholdings and is a popular destination for walkers, bird-watchers and kayakers.
But Cemlyn faces an uncertain future. Much of the estate is low-lying and is already affected by coastal flooding and erosion. Wildlife, historic features and the farming way of life are all threatened by climate change, raising serious questions about the future of the estate.
|Sea-level rise projections require a radical re-think about land use and access routes on the estate (1m sea level rise marked in light blue).|
Ordnance Survey data (c) Crown Copyright and database
If ever there was a need for a clear conservation vision, this is it.
Take a look at Cemlyn’s breathtakingly beautiful coastline from the air
|Storms over-top the shingle ridge, lowering its height and flooding farmland (Photo: Jane Rees)|
|Parking problems? The main car park is frequently flooded by the tide, making it necessary to plan for its relocation.|
Sea levels are rising. Since records began at nearby Holyhead in 1965, there’s already been a 17.8 cm rise in mean high water.
By the end of the century, land currently being used for silage, crops and grazing at Cemlyn will be underwater at the highest tides. The shingle ridge that protects the islands which support 20% of the UK Sandwich terns may be breached and access roads, car parks and footpaths will be unusable.
"The 12 highest recorded high tides [at nearby Holyhead] have all occurred since 1997"
Prof. Ken Pye, Environmental Scientist and advisor to the Cemlyn vision project
Seeking a shared vision
We’ve recently started to share our ideas for Cemlyn’s future with our farming tenants, conservation partners and the local community. This follows two years of detailed research, which has involved studies of the hydrology, geomorphology, soils and farming practices of the estate.
A picture is emerging of threatened habitats, livelihoods and farming traditions that stretch back for generations.
Sharing our vision
|We’ve taken our stand to the Anglesey Show and held a Cemlyn Open Day to share our vision and gather feedback from locals and visitors.|
|We are sharing what we know about the challenges of climate change with those who depend on Cemlyn for their livelihood|
Our role is to defend the beauty and wildlife of this amazing stretch of coast. If the timeless habitats and farming heritage are to survive at this special place, we must prepare now to overcome the challenges of climate change by working with our farming tenants, the community and conservation partners.
|To help visualise the likely changes we commissioned an artist's impression of how the landscape will look in our grandchildren's time|
Did you know?Cemlyn has a fascinating nature conservation history dating back nearly a century. Download our timeline to find out more.
We would like to hear from you
If you would like to contribute to our vision, or just want to let us know what you think, please feel free to use the comment facility on this blog, or contact me
To find out more, download our bilingual vision document
You may need to download the Dropbox app to view the above link. Contact me if you'd like me to email you a copy.
Gwerthfawrogaf eich sylwadau ar ddyfodol Cemlyn.