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In terms of habitats the ward is one of our most variable. In the south it covers Neath Estuary SINC which is a coastal and floodplain grazing marsh, this area holds water when the river is in flood and the tide is high protecting the surrounding land. Moving north the historic landscape includes the remains of Neath Abbey and the Ironworks. Past this the land rises sharply to the west with a steep, densely wooded, valley side leading up to rocky outcrops and a farmland plateau. Several sites are managed for their biodiversity under NPT Bee Friendly, particularly Saltings roundabout and road verges around Longford. The Woodland Trust own and manage Dyffryn and Coed Maesmelin woods.

The area has recently been made famous by the discovery of the Blue ground beetle in a garden shed. Further surveys have confirmed that the woodlands in Dyffryn are a stronghold for the species, as yet this is the only site in Wales where it has been found. As part of the creation of a new school on the former Abbey Primary site a good population of Common lizard were found. These have been moved to a receptor site but the surrounding area probably has an excellent population. Down on the saltmarsh birds such as Little egret and Lapwing can be seen. The Plateau is suitable for Brown hare and Skylark.


  1. Encourage people to look for the rare Blue Ground Beetle in their gardens and report their records to us.
  2. Look for more sites in the ward where NPT Bee Friendly management could take place.
  3. The Woodland Trust have a volunteer group who undertake work at Coed Maesmelin. Direct interested constituents to join the group.