Overton Mere, Overton, Gower, Swansea

Linnet Sea cliff, limestone grassland, heath and scrub.

The reserve is named after the bay over which it looks. The reserve has almost the full range of South Gower Coast habitats ranging from Hawthorn and Blackthorn scrub, through mixed Gorse and heath, open limestone scree, to improved and unimproved limestone grassland.

The areas of improved grassland are to be found on the plateau area closest to the sea shore which is a fossil raised beach dating back to the last Ice Age. The improvement came about when the previous owner ploughed these areas for potatoes, and they were subsequently reseeded with grass.

Lime-loving flowers such as Common Rock-rose (6-9), Milkwort (5-9), Eyebright (7-9), and Thyme (6-8) flourish while Linnet, Meadow Pipit, and Stonechat search the grassland and scrub for food. Oystercatcher and other shore birds can be seen in the Mere at low tide.

Bloody-nosed Beetle and Green Tiger Beetle are regularly to be found on the path in summer, the rare Silky Wave Moth hides in the Gorse, and an assemblage of solitary bees and wasps nest in tunnels dug in the soft sediments of the wave cut platform.

Grid References O.S. Explorer map 164 Gower. Main entrance: SS460850, Site centre: SS462848

Status Part of the South Gower Coast SSSI, which in turn is part of the European Natura 2000 site, the Limestone Sea Cliffs of South West Wales SAC.

Tenure The reserve was purchased in December 1963 and March 1986 with financial help and grant aid from SPNR’s Nuffield Fund, the Pilgrim Trust, and WWF. The Trust purchased the agricultural rights in 1996, with the help of grant aid from CCW.

Size 11.6 ha (28.6 acres).

Location andAccess Notes
0.5 km south of the village of Overton, adjacent to Port Eynon Point nature reserve. Access to the reserve can be gained by way of the first field gate on the left on the track leading out of Overton Village to the west, or by way of the coastal public footpath and stile from Port Eynon Point. Not accessible to wheelchairs.

Public Transport
Bus numbers 117, 118, 115 and 21a from Swansea Quadrant Bus Station to Overton village.

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