New Weather Stations Help Wildlife

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Nature reserves across Wales are getting a helping hand by having weather stations installed that will help Natural Resources Wales (NRW) better manage and maintain them.

The stations at Morfa Harlech in Gwynedd, Merthyr Mawr Warren in Bridgend and Whiteford in Gower will provide real time and historical weather data including wind speed and direction, rainfall and sunshine.

Sand dunes in these areas are of international importance for their habitats which provide a home for rare plants and animals.

These include the fen orchid, many species of rare invertebrates and sand lizards.

NRW has ongoing projects in all three areas to rejuvenate the dunes so they can provide better habitats for their rare and distinctive wildlife.

Information from the new weather stations will help NRW manage the projects and improve understanding of the relationships between the weather and ecology.

The data gathered after extreme weather can be used to understand how it naturally affects the environment along Wales’ dynamic coastline.

Understanding these effects will allow NRW to manage the dunes with more natural methods in future.

This information will also be available to the public and other interested parties including local schools, universities and even surfers and golfers.

These interested parties will be able to check online and know if it’s the right kind of weather for their chosen activity.

The Royal St. David’s Golf Club at Morfa Harlech have even added a couple of extra weather sensors so they can improve their course management.

Dr. Emmer Litt, Marine and Coastal Physical Scientist for NRW, said:

“NRW prides itself on working to protect and enhance Wales’ natural environment and the dune rejuvenation projects are a great example of this.

“The newly installed weather stations will help us manage the dunes’ habitats and species so future generations can enjoy everything they have to offer.

“On top of the benefits to the reserves, organisations like the Royal St. David’s Golf Club in Harlech can even find out if it’s a nice enough day for 18 holes!”