Ynys Mon County Council has secured three years of ‘Sustainable Landscapes Sustainable Places’ funding from Welsh Government to run a number of environmental projects.

The projects will be led by the council’s Countryside and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Team after they successfully secured the £575,000 grant funding.

Projects will help enhance biodiversity and wildlife habitats on the island. It will also support the aims and objectives set out in the council’s biodiversity plan to help tackle climate change.

The grant funding will be used to fund projects around 4 key themes:

  • Promoting Biodiversity and Nature Recovery
  • Accelerating Decarbonisation
  • Supporting Resilient and Green Communities
  • Delivering Sustainable Tourism

The council's deputy leader and economy portfolio holder, Councillor Carwyn Jones, said: “This funding will allow us to lead on projects that will promote biodiversity and nature recovery across the island as well as deliver sustainable tourism.”

Climate change portfolio holder, Councillor Nicola Roberts, added: “These projects again highlight our commitments to biodiversity and tackling climate change.

“I would like to thank the Welsh Government for recognising the importance of this project and for awarding us with this grant.”

One environmental project the Countryside and AONB Team will run is a heathland enhancement project. The project will aim to enhance and restore lowland heathland around Mon.

Lowland heathland is recognised as a priority species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan due to it being a rare and threatened habitat.

Approximately 12.5 per cent of Wales’ lowland heathland can be found on the island - highlighting the importance of this project.

Over the course of the next three years, £125,000 of the grant funding will be allocated to survey the current condition of lowland heath, before creating an up-to-date strategy to support both landowners and land managers to improve and increase the range of lowland heathland on their land.

One of the first steps to help restore heathland extent is to remove scrub plants such as bracken that have colonised the boundaries of the heathland.

Most recently, a local horse logging contractor (Kevin Taylor) has been hired to carry out bracken rolling at the council’s managed Holyhead Breakwater Country Park site.

Bracken rolling crushes young bracken fronds that emerge in the spring and weakens the plant by damaging its stem. This method is favoured over cutting as it may stimulate future growth and exacerbate the problem.

Commonly, a roller is pulled by quad bike or tractor or utility task vehicle. However, to minimise the environmental footprint of the work, this project was carried out by using a horse-drawn roller.

AONB Community Warden Joseff Davies explained: “This is such an exciting project, with the potential to run past the three-year project.

“Lowland heathland is such an important landscape within Anglesey’s AONB, and we are very excited to be able to improve the condition and range of this vital habitat.”