19 February 2021

Notified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Halkyn Common hosts a range of nationally rare habitats and represents the largest sheep’s fescue – spring sandwort grassland community in Wales. It has also been designated as a Special Area of Conservation for its calaminarian grasslands, calcareous grasslands, and European Dry heath as well as its populations of great crested newts.

Chester Zoo is working together with the local Halkyn Grazing Association to develop a three year management of the area through mowing and scrub management. This project’s main objectives include:

Managing between 10 and 20 ha of European heathland over a period of three years by mowing and cutting back gorse and heather
Reducing the amount of mature gorse to improve access for recreation and to prevent wild-fires from destroying large areas
Creating a mosaic of heathland of different ages to provide a wider range of habitats for reptiles, amphibians, birds and plants within the heathland community and more suitable grazing conditions for the sheep flocks on the common
Developing a more even grazing pattern on the heathland and the grassland communities and working towards achieving favorable condition of the habitats that are of national and European importance

Key facts
Halkyn mountain is classified as a Special Site of Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation
One part of the mountain, Halkyn common, has a long tradition of grazing by sheep and regular management by those living near the common
It is home to various species of scarce plants such as the nationally rare stemless thistle, grass of parnassus and local pools contain strong populations of great crested newt

OUR TEAM OF EXPERTS WORK IN SIX REGIONS AROUND THE GLOBE – REPRESENTING SOME OF THE PLANET’S MOST BIODIVERSE HABITATS. Discover more about our SCIENCE AND CONSERVATION work.

THIS IS WHAT WE DO