Gower has a large number designated areas which have been officially recognised and protected for various attributes or the presence of rare flora or fauna. In a nutshell the entire peninsular is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural beauty, The Burry estuary on the north of the peninsular is a 6500 hectre Ramsar sites, there are 5 Special Areas of Conservation, 1 Marine Special Areas of Conservation, 1 Special Protection Area, 33 Sites of Special Scientific Interest,4 National Nature Reserves, 6 Local Nature Reserves, 1 Country Park and 19 Managed Reserves. In addition the entire coast line is a designated a heritage coast
Below is a map providing the locations of the various designated areas the orande markers lie on the national and local nature reserves or generally the sites which are less sensitive to high visitor numbers please remember that many of the SSSI’s cannot be accessed by the general public and many sites are very sensitive and unless you have a specific interest may be better left alone.
Key to Desigantions
AONB – An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a precious landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so outstanding that it is in the nation’s interest to safeguard them. Gower was the first area to receive such a nomination way back in 195 for Chosen for its classic coastline and outstanding natural environment. Today there are 46 ANOB’s throughout the UK
SSSI - Site of Special Scientific Interest, Sites which have been designated for their biological or geological interest by virtue of their flora or fauns or geological / geomorphological features. Gower has 33 SSSI’s.
SAC – Special Areas of Conservation there are five on the peninsular. Are strictly protected sites designated under the EC Habitats Directive whichaims to establish a European network of important high-quality conservation sites which will aid in the conservation of identified habitats and species.
SPA – Special Protection Areas are strictly protected sites under the EEC birds directive. They are classified for rare and vulnerable birds and for regularly occurring migratory species, ther is one SPA the Burry inlet on the peninsular.
NNR – National Nature Reserves there are three on the peninsular.
Ramsar Site – Ramsar sites are designated under the International Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat the is one ramsar site in the the Gower area, the Burry Estuary .