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WALES: Spotlight on treasures of our coasts; TV nature expert pays visit to newly-protected habitat.

Byline: By ERYL CRUMP

NATURALIST and broadcaster lolo Williams will be briefed on a new marine conservation area at an event to raise awareness of coastal wildlife habitats, later today.

The television and radio presenter will be at Plas Tan y Bwlch near Blaenau Ffestiniog during an open day on the Living Coasts - Living Seas project, which is based off the North Wales coast.

He will be judging an art, photography and poetry competition during the day and some of the entrants' work will be on display.

Pen Llyn a'r Sarnau streches from Bardsey Island off the Llyn Peninsula along the Cardigan Bay coast to Aberdyfi. Funded by the European Union, it is one of the largest of the marine Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) in the UK.

It was set up due to the presence of a variety of marine habitats, such as reefs and sea caves; as well as important marine mammals such as bottlenose dolphins, grey seals and otters.

Gwynedd Council teamed up with Fingal County Council in setting up a special project to raise awareness of the coastal habitats and species of Gwynedd, Fingal, Meath and Wicklow.

Project officer Ceri Wyn Morris said: "The aim of the three-year project is to raise awareness of the area and at this stage, nearing the end of the project we have lots to show.

"A mobile exhibition will be on display, with colourful displays and interactive games produced as part of the project which have been used to great success at various events over the summer.

"We will also be displaying artwork produced by local children and community groups as part of our ongoing project, along with photographs and the set and puppets from a very successful theatre in education project which toured Gwynedd primary schools this summer with the story of the World's Greatest Turtle.

Cardigan Bay is one of the last remaining areas in the UK where cetaceans are relatively common. A survey carried out by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) discovered that the area is home to around 130 bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises and thousands of seals.

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Bottlenose dolphins are just one of the species seen off the Gwynedd coast; lolo Williams
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 6, 2007
Words:371
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