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DB vision

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

The Dyfi Biosphere

Aberystwyth old college
River Dyfi estuary

The Biosphere measures 840 sq km, of which 762 are land and 78 are sea;

As counted in 2011, is home to 26,100 people, of whom 41% can speak Welsh and 12,800 (including students) live in Aberystwyth;

Includes parts of Gwynedd, Ceredigion and Powys County Council areas as well as part of Snowdonia National Park:

Protected areas in the Dyfi Biosphere

The Dyfi Biosphere has a core area consisting of three main protected habitats:

1. Cors Fochno- (SAC, SSSI) is one of the finest raised peat bogs in Britain

2. Coed Cwm Einion - (SAC, SSSI) an ancient semi-natural mixed broadleaved woodland

3. Pen Llŷn a’r Sarnau (SAC)  an area of sea, coast and estuary that support a wide range of different marine habitats and wildlife.


SAC - Special Area of Conservation

SSSI - Site of Special Scientific Interest

Dyfi Biosphere vision:

The Dyfi Biosphere will be recognised and respected internationally, nationally and locally for the diversity of its natural beauty, heritage and wildlife, and for its people’s efforts to make a positive contribution to a more sustainable world. It will be a self confident, healthy, caring and bilingual community, supported by a strong locally-based economy.

Principles and aspirations

In addition to the vision and strategic objectives, a set of principles was agreed upon.

1. People – their attitudes and activities – are central to the Biosphere process.

2. The Dyfi Biosphere is a place where people’s feeling of well being is enhanced, where people are empowered and involved in deliberation, decision-making and co-delivery.

3. The role of government and statutory organizations is to facilitate sustainable development and to encourage and enable people to take responsibility.

4. The Dyfi Biosphere is an exemplary area, setting the benchmark for “green”, bilingual living.

5. Our economy is becoming more self reliant and less carbon intensive, based largely on local culture, resources, products and environmental assets.

6. Constructive change occurs, but almost incidentally as a result of protecting, strengthening and celebrating elements of life and the world which the community values and wants to pass on to future generations.


Where is it?

Map of the UK

Dyfi Biosphere boundary

Map of Wales

Map of the Dyfi Biosphere

Click to zoom in on the map below

Map of Dyfi Biosphere

History of application

The lower Dyfi Valley was first designated a Biosphere in the 1970s, but rule changes in the 1990s meant sites had to reapply under new criteria. After extensive local consultation, the Dyfi Biosphere Partnership asked UNESCO to re-register a much bigger area. Jane Davidson, Minister for the Environment, Sustainability & Housing, announced UNESCO’s agreement in June 2009.

A consultation was held in 2007.

Application to UNESCO

The Dyfi Biosphere Partnership sent its application for re-registration to UNESCO in February 2008. It contains detailed information about the valley, its natural and cultural heritage and its people. There are also initial suggestions as to how the community can get involved and benefit from the opportunities presented

Download the application documents below

        is a summary of how the area meets the criteria for registration and contains location and zonation maps

           contains a wealth of information about the area, including the environment and the local economy, together with proposals for coordinating this exciting initiative.

Download appendices from application
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