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Countryside Council for Wales
Landscape & wildlife Please note - A new body, Natural Resources Wales has taken over all functions and services previously carried out by Countryside Council for Wales. While the Natural Resources Wales website continues to be developed, some online services will continue to be provided on this web site.

Skomer Marine Nature Reserve

Skomer, the first and only MNR in Wales, was established in 1990 and is situated around the island of Skomer and the Marloes Peninsula in south west Wales.

Location of Skomer MNR

Skomer map


Ownership of Skomer MNR

The seabed and intertidal area is under Crown Estate ownership and leased to CCW.

Byelaws on Skomer MNR

CCW has enacted byelaws under Section 37 of the Act which were created through discussions and mutual agreements with all concerned, and approved by the National Assembly for Wales. These restrict activities such as dumping rubbish and taking, killing or disturbing wildlife, as well as imposing a 5-knot speed limit within 100m of the shore.

The Reserve also benefits from specific Sea Fishery Committee byelaws, prohibiting the use of mobile fishing gear (dredges and beam trawls) and the taking of certain species by any means.

Skomer view from the mainalnd, Photo ©Phil Newman CCW

King scallop, Photo ©Mark Burton CCW

Wick shore, south side of Skomer, Photo ©Mark Burton CCW

Pink seafan monitoring photography (biodiversity action plan species), Photo ©Rohan Holt CCW

GreySeal female , Photo ©Mark Burton CCW

Visiting Skomer MNR

The public can visit the MNR by boat or explore the shoreline on foot. Diving is permitted.  All activities are subject to voluntary codes of conduct in addition to the byelaws mentioned above.

During the summer, scheduled ferry services pass through the MNR on their way to the islands of Skomer and Skokholm. They depart from Martin’s Haven, at the tip of the Marloes Peninsula.

Private watercraft are permitted to enter the waters of the MNR, although anchoring is restricted to North and South Havens on Skomer Island. 

The public have a general right of access on foot to the shoreline (i.e. between high and low water mark) of the MNR on the mainland and around Skomer. However, the terrain can be rocky and dangerous and there is not necessarily a right of access across neighbouring land.

A CCW information centre dedicated to the MNR can be found at Martin’s Haven, where there is also a large National Trust car park and toilets.

National and international importance of Skomer MNR

Features of Skomer MNR

Skomer MNR has 7 habitat features and 16 species features which are conservation priorities. These include grey seal, pink seafan, some seaslug species, eelgrass and algal communities.

Designation Notes Area (ha) of
MNR covered
by designation
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) Internal area only 71 5%
Special Area of Conservation (SAC) Sub-tidal and intertidal area 1,324 100%
National Park Intertidal area only 39 3%


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The landscapes team
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LL57 2DW
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