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  Ryer’s Down

Location: Grid Reference SS456921
Situated at the north western end of Gower, located immediately to the north of the small settlement of Burry Green.
Area: Approximately 68 ha
Designations: Common Land
CRoW Access Land (for more info go to www.ccw.gov.uk)
Ryers Down lies within
- Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
- West Gower landscape which is included in the Register of Landscapes or Outstanding Historic Interest in Wales (CCW/CADW: Welsh Historic Monuments/ICOMOS UK 1998, 53-56.
Ryers Down

On much of the common, bracken had become dominant and was smothering the less vigorous heathland plants such as the characteristic bell heather and ling. Bracken is unpalatable in any quantity for most grazing animals. For this reason the remnants of heathland that had not been swamped by bracken were coming under increased grazing pressure. This degraded the heathland further and weakened it to further bracken invasion.

Management of the bracken by mechanical rolling weakens the bracken and allows the more favourable heathland species to grow.

Scrub clearance and bracken management on Ryer’s Down have revealed sites of archaeological interest, which were previously hidden by high, dense vegetation.

pond clearance

Wildlife Interest:
Habitats to be found on Ryer’s Down include dry heath, which is developing due to current management, and a small area of wet heath.

Great green bush-cricket (Tettigonia viridissima) is Britain’s largest bush cricket, measuring up to 5cm.

History & Archaeology:
There are 9 sites of archaeological interest on Ryer’s Down. Including two possible sites of medieval long houses, a quarry, medieval banks and ditches.
There are several large irregular depressions with other smaller hollows around the hillside. Although the exact date is not known for definite, these are likely to be old quarrying sites.

To download a copy of the guided walk over the commons, please follow the link below:

Hardings Down and Ryers Down walk



Site produced by Selina Taylor