Ceredigion Shoreline Management Plan


This page summarises the contents of the Ceredigion Section of the Cardigan Bay Shoreline Management Plan. It covers the coastal area between and including the Teifi Estuary in the South and the Dyfi Estuary in the North. This coastline has many historic settlements, resorts, ports and harbours and also supports many rare plants and animals along its cliffs, estuaries, beaches and sand dunes.

The Coastline of Ceredigion

The Ceredigion coastline is variable and includes slow eroding rock cliffs, erodable boulder clay cliffs, shingle beaches, sandy beaches, long beaches (Borth) and pocket beaches (Llangrannog). In addition the coast has a number of estuaries including the two larger ones that delineate the Counties boundary; The Teifi and the Dyfi.

The shape of the beaches, sand dunes and estuaries are constantly changing due to the action of the waves, tides and currents that move sediment along the coast. Sand and silt that settle in the estuaries can form banks and marshes, whose edges are shaped by meandering river channels.

Beaches and sand dunes are important natural coastal defences that absorb the sea's energy, reducing the need for expensive artificial defences. Sand blown from the beach forms and maintains sand dunes. However, sand or shingle may cause problems when it blows or washes onto promenades, the highway and residential properties.

Coastal erosion can be caused by human interference or by the natural movement of material from one location to another.

Coastal Defences

At certain locations along the Ceredigion coastline, especially to the north of the county, the land is below the highest tide and relies on flood protection. This can be provided by sand dunes or shingle banks, which are sometimes reinforced by artificial coastal defences. Similarly erosion of the shore can threaten properties and other interests. The SMP identifies the areas at risk and describes the existing defence policy and recommends the policy to adopt in the future. It identifies areas where the provision of new defence works might be beneficial, although none presently exists, and also areas not suitable for development, since its defence would have an adverse effect or would be unsustainable in the long term.

Interests and Features

The largely unspoilt nature of the coast, the variety of coastal features and diversity of its geology and habitats makes the Ceredigion coastline a place of significant environmental interest, at a local, national and international level. These same characteristics make the coastline a major tourist attraction of great importance to the local economy.

Over 47% of the population of Ceredigion reside on or adjacent to the coast and these settlements have a long and traditional maritime association. The agriculture industry in the coastal strip is important to the region and the fishing industry is of economic and cultural importance to the main ports and harbours.

Central Cardigan Bay SMP 2004 - Volume I pdf doc 7.63Mb

Central Cardigan Bay SMP 2004 - Volume II pdf doc 60.5Mb

Central Cardigan Bay SMP 2004 - Volume III pdf doc 12.6Mb


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Ceredigion County Council © 2001