Cardiff, United Kingdom
City population: 344626
Duration: 2001 – 2002
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Micro-scale: District/neighbourhood level
Project area: 79100 m2
Type of area: Protected Area
Last updated: October 2021

The reserve is a biodiversity hot-spot within Cardiff Bay. The reedbed and other aquatic plants, are very productive vegetation and a habitat for birds. Prior to the construction of the Cardiff Bay Barrage, it was made up of mudflats and salt marsh. (Ref 1) The site was chosen by Cardiff Harbour Authority to create a new environment and compensate in part for the loss of the mudflats which were submerged after completion of the Cardiff Bay Barrage. Floating timber structures serve as breeding areas for birds, an underwater bund prevents wave erosion, and a boom keeps out waterborne debris (Ref 5).

Overview

Nature-based solution

  • Blue infrastructure
  • Lakes/ponds
  • Wetlands/bogs/fens/marshes

Key challenges

  • Water management (SDG 6)
  • Improvements to water quality
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity restoration
  • Habitat and biodiversity conservation
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Promotion of naturalistic urban landscape design

Focus

Ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems, Protection of natural ecosystems, Improved governance of green or blue areas, Monitoring of habitats and/or biodiversity, Management of rivers and other blue areas

Project objectives

1. Wetlands were created to provide important habitat for many species (ref 1). 2. Established wetland compensated (in part) for the loss of the mudflats which were submerged after completion of the Cardiff Bay Barrage (ref 5). 3. The targeted habitats for the Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve, as set out in the ‘Cardiff Bay Wetlands Management Proposals’ are: • Reed beds • Tall-herb fen • Ditch habitats • Freshwater ‘open’ lagoons. (ref 2)

Implementation activities

The wetlands were created when the barrage was completed and the previous saline mudflats were transformed into freshwater marshland and a 400 acre lake. (ref 7) -a boom keeps out waterborne debris (ref 5) An underwater bund prevents wave erosion (ref 5)

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity conservation:

  • Protect and enhance urban habitats
  • Create new habitats
  • Reduce negative impacts and avoid the alteration/damage of ecosystem
  • Protect species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect native species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect endangered species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect valued species

Biodiversity restoration:

  • Rehabilitate and restore damaged or destroyed ecosystems
  • Restore species (native, endangered, or unspecified)
  • Restore native species
  • Restore valued species
  • Restore endangered species
  • Clear and control invasive alien species
  • Restore ecological connectivity

Main beneficiaries

  • Local government/Municipality
  • Researchers/University
  • Citizens or community groups
  • Young people and children
  • Other

Governance

Management set-up

  • Government-led

Type of initiating organisation

  • Local government/municipality

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Unknown

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The Harbour Authority developed and manages the Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve. Maintenance activities are undertaken in partnership with Cardiff Council’s Park Ranger service. (ref 6). The Harbour Authority undertakes a range of environmental duties in accordance with the requirements of the Cardiff Bay Barrage Act and other environmental legislation. These include monitoring and maintaining water quality standards, and protecting and enhancing the natural and built environment. (ref 6)

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Yes (Cardiff Bay Barrage Act :The Harbour Authority undertakes a range of environmental duties in accordance with the requirements of the Cardiff Bay Barrage Act and other environmental legislation. These include monitoring and maintaining water quality standards, and protecting and enhancing the natural and built environment. (ref 6))

Financing

Total cost

€100,000 - €500,000

Source(s) of funding

  • Public local authority budget

Type of funding

  • Direct funding or subsidy

Non-financial contribution

Unknown

Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Water management and blue areas
  • Improved water quality
  • Enhanced protection and restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems
  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased conservation or restoration of ecosystems
  • Reduced biodiversity loss
  • Increased number of species present
  • Increased protection of threatened species
  • Increased ecological connectivity across regeneration sites and scales
  • Other

Economic impacts

  • More sustainable tourism

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Improved physical health
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise
  • Cultural heritage and sense of place
  • Improvement in people’s connection to nature
  • Increased appreciation for natural spaces
  • Education
  • Increased support for education and scientific research
  • Increased knowledge of locals about local nature
  • Increased awareness of NBS and their benefits

Type of reported impacts

Expected impacts, Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system

Yes

Presence of indicators used in reporting

Yes

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

Yes

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records

References