COUNTRYSIDE COUNCIL FOR WALES
SITE OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST: CITATION
National Grid Reference: SH483880
Site Area: 18.9 ha
Coed y Gell is a small natural coastal woodland occurring on a steep north‑facing slope overlying Old Red Sandstone rock on an ancient woodland site. The wood does not exhibit extensive wind pruning because, although coastal, it is sheltered from the prevailing westerly winds. It falls within the Hedera helix ‑ Quercus/Fraxinus (ivy ‑ oak/ash) group of woodlands but has been principally selected because of the unusual environmental conditions in this locality. Shrub species, notably hazel Corylus avellana, but additionally elder Sambucus nigra, hawthorn Crataegus monogyna and blackthorn Prunus spinosa are particularly abundant. There are basic cornstone bands in the Old Red Sandstone and shrub species such as spindle Euonymus europaeus, characteristic of rich conditions are present. The canopy trees include ash Fraxinus excelsior, wych elm Ulmus glabra and sessile oak Quercus petraea. Much of the wood is inaccessible to grazing and bramble Rubus is locally abundant; both ivy, and to a lesser extent honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum are also widespread on the trees. There is a varied ground flora including a number of uncommon bryophyte species of which the liverworts Marchesinia mackaii, Cololejeunea rossettiana and Plagiochila britannica are most noteworthy. Morfa Dulas consists of a spit supporting interesting dune grassland and saltmarsh communities.