Our location offers a tremendous range of marine fieldwork and adventure opportunities. The coastline of Anglesey and the Menai Strait is rich in marine wildlife, geological, geographical and cultural history, making it the ideal base for our courses.
With Snowdonia and the Irish sea on our doorstep, the region has also carved out an enviable reputation as an adventure playground, with a great choice of mountain- and water-sports for all ages.
Most of the course fieldwork takes place along the the Menai Strait, or “Afon Menai”, the stretch of tidal water separating the Isle of Anglesey from the mainland. Stretching for some 25 km from Trwyn Penmon to Abermenai Point, this channel hosts numerous habitats, ranging from dynamic marine reefs to expansive sandy beaches, dunes and sea cliffs. The Strait is a major geological fault, formed by glaciers flowing from Snowdonia, and by the Irish Sea ice stream which covered Anglesey during the last ice age.
The channel is part of the Menai Strait and Conwy Special Area of Conservation (SAC), which enables the protection of special habitat types and species. It has an abundance of shore and wading birds, adding to the wildlife experience. Whilst it is sheltered from wave action, the tides generate strong currents and high salinities, which help create a fascinating biological diversity.
We’ll be journeying by powerboat, heading through the Swellies between Telford’s suspension bridge and Stephenson’s Britannia Bridge. Enjoy a close-up view of a Napoleonic fort, two castles built by Edward I, the renowned School of Ocean Sciences and the uninhabited Puffin Island, Ynys Seiriol. Penmon Point provides an ideal location for shoreline investigation.
This stretch of coastline has some excellent marine infrastructure and enables us to provide interesting and varied fieldwork opportunities.
The marine biologists at the Anglesey Sea Zoo are an invaluable source of knowledge and expertise for research investigations. This marine science centre is a unique aquarium, research and education facility. It is the largest aquarium in Wales, hosting over 150 species, and the only one in the UK dedicated to just native species. This is an unrivalled opportunity to tap in to their expertise and passion for our fascinating marine environment.
Their team of scientists work with education groups of all ages. A core part of their work are the conservation programmes which they run, including the lobster hatchery and seahorse breeding. Their experience of marine environments across the world is considerable and diverse.
You will be able to study the local marine environment on the waterfront as well as through the aquarium resources.
Learn a few words of Welsh during your stay. The Welsh language thrives in this region with its rich cultural history, so perhaps you will take a few words home with you!
For the scientific imagination, there is so much to investigate on the Menai Strait. The tidal waters and high salinities encourage a great diversity of marine life.
The Menai Strait, with its wide variety of habitat types, is home to over 1,400 recorded species of plants and animals. The environmental factors have also led to the development of a number of unusual features and animal associations. There is also the rare rock boring Little Piddock as well as various shellfish, including cockles, lobsters and mussels.
Individual research and investigation on the Menai Strait.
Coastal activity days for primary schools
19 Ashdown House
Riverside Business Park
+44 (0)1492 550768