COUNTRYSIDE COUNCIL FOR WALES
SITE OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST: CITATION
National Grid Reference: SH416665
Site area: 14 ha
This site is selected for its zoological interest and also has important botanical features.
The shallow pools at Glan-traeth, created by the extraction of sand, support one of the largest breeding populations of the warty newt Triturus cristatus known in Great Britain. Night counts have revealed over 500 animals on several occasions, and the total population is probably considerably larger. The species has suffered a marked decline throughout Britain, as a result of habitat loss and pollution and is specifically protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). The pool is also the breeding site for significant numbers of palmate newt T helveticus, common frog Rana temporaria and toad Bufo bufo. Surrounding areas of land comprise grazed dune grassland developed in former sand workings, and a sand ridge at the south east which is ungrazed by domestic stack. These are important foraging and wintering areas for the adult amphibians and are an essential component of the habitat of these species.
The early sand grass Mibora minima, a rarity in Britain (restricted to a few areas in Anglesey and the Gower Peninsula) occurs in the grazed dune grassland, particularly near the edge of bare or eroded sand patches. Meadow saxifrage Saxifraga granulata, which is uncommon in Gwynedd, occurs in the grassland, whilst variegated horsetail Equisetum variegatum and round-leaved wintergreen Pyrola rotundifolia occur in the damp depressions.