Lavernock Point – Penarth

Grid References O.S. Explorer map 151. Main entrance: ST181681

Site centre: ST182682



Status Lavernock Point SSSI forms two thirds of the site.

Tenure Managed under licence since January 1966 and currently held under a 25 year lease from June 1999.

Size 8 ha (20 acres).

A downloadable version of this leaflet can be found here

Location and Access Notes

8 km south of Cardiff, and 6 km east of Barry. Access is from the B4267 via Fort Road, sign-posted Lavernock Point. Limited parking by the gate or in the public car park at the end of Fort Road.
Public footpaths and permissive paths within the reserve, including several stiles, but there is kissing gate access 100 yards beyond the gate. Some cliff-top paths susceptible to erosion.

Public Transport

Bus services 88 and 94 from Cardiff, Penarth and Barry.

Description: Lavernock is made up of a number of habitats, principally coastal Jurassic limestone grassland and scrub.

Devil's bit scabious L Maiden

Devil’s bit scabious L Maiden

The Oak Copse north of Fort Road is home to the elusive Purple Hairstreak butterfly. The Old Hayfield south of Fort Road was last cut for hay in 1984 and has been recolonised by meadow species. The North and South Meadows are separated by a belt of scrub containing a World War II Battery, now a listed Ancient Monument. Both meadows have been invaded by scrub over the years which in places has succeeded to Ash wood.

The meadow’s many flowers include Cowslip (4-5) and several orchids: Early Purple (4-6), Bee (6-7), Spotted (6-8) and Twayblade (5-8). Other plants prominent in their season are Common Centaury (6-10), Yellow-wort (8-9), Dyer’s Greenweed (7-9), Fleabane (8-9) and Devil’s-bit Scabious (6-10). In all some 170 species have been listed, including the scarce Adder’s Tongue Fern.

The butterflies and moths are mainly found in the meadow, although the Speckled Wood is found amongst trees. There are abundant whites, blues and browns including Ringlet (6-8), Meadow Brown (6-9) and Gatekeeper (7-8). Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Red Admiral and Painted Lady can be seen all summer. The commonest day-flying moth is the Six-spot Burnet and the commonest migrant the Silver Y.

Historically Lavernock has been an important site for the observation of bird migration. In autumn, large flocks of Swallow, Redwing, Fieldfare and finches can be seen. Breeding birds include Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Bullfinch and Chiffchaff. Sparrowhawk, Green Woodpecker and Long-tailed Tit can be seen throughout the year.

Lavernock Point