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Kenfig National Nature Reserve set for new management

Bridgend County Borough Council has confirmed that it will no longer manage Kenfig National Nature Reserve once the existing lease expires in 2020.

The council currently manages the site on behalf of its owners, the Kenfig Corporation Trust, and has a lease in place to do so until 31 December 2019.

Since 2010, the council and the trust have been exploring options for transferring the management of the reserve over to a new organisation capable of investing in the site, enhancing the overall visitor experience and ensuring that it can remain financially sustainable.

Ongoing budget pressures and a need to make multi-million pound savings has meant that this process is more critical than ever, and the council has informed the trust and Natural Resources Wales that it does not intend to reapply for the lease.

Kenfig National Nature Reserve is a unique facility and the council is proud to have played such a significant role in protecting its many habitats and making sure that the public has been able to enjoy its natural beauty.

For almost a decade now, we have been preparing plans in support of new management which will have the ability to enhance the reserve and capitalise upon its potential while continuing to protect its important habitats.

Kenfig Corporation Trust are currently appointing a new management organisation to look after the reserve. The council and Natural Resources Wales are supporting them with this process, and I am looking forward to the announcement of who the new managers will be.

Councillor Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration

Covering around 1300 acres, Kenfig National Nature Reserve features a mix of coastal dunes and wetland environments and is regarded as one of the finest examples of a sand dune habitat in Europe. 

Home to several rare species of animal and plant such as the Fen Orchid, it was once part of a massive belt of sand which ran all the way from the Ogmore Estuary to the Gower Peninsula.

It was designated as a site of Special Scientific Interest in 1953, a Local Nature Reserve in 1978, a National Nature Reserve in 1989, and a Special Area of Conservation in 2006.

The most recent initiative to be established at the reserve is a two-year project that will ensure the site is in top condition ready for its handover to new management.

Called Dunes 2 Dunes, the project seeks to increase biodiversity, improve habitats, restore pathways and boundaries, and educate visitors about the local environment.

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