Wildlife and conservation

Wildlife and conservation

Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve

The Harbour Authority developed and manages the Wetland Reserve, which is an area of approximately 8 hectares, located on the northern shore of Cardiff Bay between St David’s Hotel and the River Taff. Created on a former salt marsh, the area supports a rich diversity of plants and animals, including invertebrates, fish and other wildlife.

The reserve is easily accessible via a gravel walkway and boardwalk, and boasts a viewing area that extends out over the water, providing the perfect location for bird watching.

Download the Wetlands Wildlife Explorer for children and take them on a fun tour of the reserve. For further details about educational activities, visit the Education section.

Maintenance activities for the reserve are undertaken in partnership with Cardiff Council’s Park Ranger service.


Migratory fish

The Harbour Authority has been working with Natural Resources Wales and its predecessors to monitor the impact of the Barrage construction and operation on the passage of migratory fish (salmon and sea trout).

In addition to monitoring, project funding is also dedicated to fish pass and habitat improvements along the rivers Taff and Ely, to ease the passage of fish and provide suitable breeding areas.

Invasive species

Cardiff Bay is home to a number of invasive species. Invasive plants such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and Giant hogweed grow along the riverbanks. Cardiff Harbour Authority (CHA) has a treatment programme in place to reduce the spread of, and where possible eliminate, these plants.

Zebra mussels and invasive shrimps are present in the water. These can out-compete other aquatic creatures and reduce biodiversity. Zebra mussels can also cause damage to underwater structures and vessels. It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to cause the spread of invasive species.

To reduce the risk of spreading these creatures to other sites, CHA requests that all Bay users follow the principles of ‘Check, Clean, Dry’. More details can be found at nonnativespecies.org.

The Harbour Authority is a member of the Wales Biodiversity Partnership Invasive Non-Native Species group, which aims to develop best practice across Wales to minimise the spread and impact of non-native species.

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See also Environmental monitoring Environmental operations

Wildlife and conservation

Water quality forecast