«Prepared by Dyfed Archaeological Trust For: Cambrian Mines Trust DYFED ARCHAEOLOGICAL TRUST RHIF YR ADRODDIAD / REPORT NO. 2013/77 RHIF Y DIGWYLLIAD ...»
4.2 Legal Protection of a SAM 4.2.1 Being scheduled means that the site is statutorily protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act of 1979. The Cadw document ‘What is Scheduling’ (2002) states that ‘Any proposal to carry out works at a scheduled ancient monument which would have the effect of demolishing, destroying, damaging, removing, repairing, altering, adding to, flooding, or covering up a monument must be the subject of an application for scheduled monument consent (SMC). Indeed, an application for scheduled monument consent also has to be made for works which may be beneficial to the monument, such as consolidating masonry, or for conducting a research excavation. It is an offence to carry out such works at the site of a scheduled ancient monument without first obtaining scheduled monument consent.’ 4.2.2 Where any planning application is submitted for works within a scheduled area, the local authority will consult with Cadw to ensure that the proposals have also obtained SMC and that any conditions placed upon that consent are complied with.
4.2.3 Any planning permission granted for activities within a SAM (once SMC has been obtained) will also have archaeological planning conditions placed upon it.
4.2.4 Where SMC or SMC and planning permission has been granted the conditions are most likely to require a form of archaeological mitigation is in place before or during the commencement of the proposed works. Such archaeological
mitigation could include the following:
Archaeological assessment – undertaken prior to the start of any works, and possibly supporting the application for SMC / planning permission. This would most likely be required in those cases where significant developments are proposed.
Archaeological / Building survey – where alterations are to be carried out to structures or where alterations in ground layout are proposed, initial recording of the structures or ground layout would be required to detail them in their present state prior to any alteration. This could be in the form of topographic, photographic or detailed building recording surveys.
Archaeological Evaluation – prior to the commencement of any proposed works it may be necessary to undertake a preliminary survey of the works to determine the presence/absence, state of preservation, extent, date, depth and significance of any below ground remains. This may take the form of non-intrusive geophysical survey (gradiometer or resistivity) or intrusive surveys in the form of trial trenching. Both surveys would provide further information on the known archaeology, but would also determine the presence of hitherto unknown remains. It is considered unlikely that geophysical survey would be required at the Cwmystwyth site due to ground conditions, although the method has not been tested to determine if it would work metal mine sites.
Archaeological Watching Brief – where archaeological potential has been identified and impacts from the proposals will be slight, or where the archaeological potential is considered low in an area of proposed works, then an archaeological watching brief during the undertaking of those works may be deemed appropriate. This would involve an archaeologist/s being present at the site to observe if any archaeological remains are exposed and if so, the archaeologist would create an appropriate record of those remains. In some cases watching briefs can identify unexpected remains of such significance that a more detailed stage of excavation and recording is necessary.
Archaeological Excavation – in cases where significant archaeological remains have been identified by evaluation or during the course of a watching brief, detailed excavation prior to the commencement of works (or further works) may be necessary. Excavation is the most intensive form of archaeological recording and can be very time consuming and costly. The aim of the work is to preserve any identified remains through record, in effect removing them from the site to allow development to continue.
Preservation in-situ – where identified archaeological remains are of such significance that it is not appropriate that they are disturbed, then preservation in-situ would be required. This is the preferred option for archaeological remains, especially in cases where the remains are of national significance (as is the case at Cwmystwyth). Where it can be shown that the works would be beneficial to the longer term preservation and future of the site as a whole, other forms of archaeological intervention may be considered appropriate. The application for and subsequent determination of Scheduled Monument Consent would address such issues.
5 ELENYDD SPECIAL AREA OF CONSERVATION (SAC)
5.1 Elenydd SAC Designation 5.1.1 The Elenydd SAC (reference UK0012928) is an expansive area covering parts of Ceredigion and Powys covering almost 86.09 square kilometres (CCW 2008, revised 2013). The CMT owned area lies entirely within the designated SAC area excluding a small part on its southwestern side (south of the road) (Figure 4). The SAC is a European designation and defined in article 1.1 as:
"special area of conservation means a site of Community importance designated by the Member States through a statutory, administrative and/or contractual act where the necessary conservation measures are applied for the maintenance or restoration, at a favourable conservation status, of the natural habitats and/or the populations of the species for which the site is designated".
5.1.2 The Elenydd area has been designated as an SAC as it contains habitats that are rare or threatened within a European context. The priority habitat
features of the SAC include the following Annexe I Habitats (most significant):
Blanket Bogs (EU Habitat Code 7130) – these lie on the upland areas of the Elenydd area and thus potentially within the upper areas of the CMT owned land on its northern side. The species of interest within the bogs include bog mosses (Sphagnum Sp.), moor grasses (Molinia caerulea), bog rosemary (Andromeda polifolia), heather (Calluna vulgaris) and hare’s tail cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum). This habitat is also one of the primary reasons for the selection of the Elenydd area as an SAC.
Calaminarian grasslands (EU Habitat Code 6130) – these grasslands are extensive across the CMT owned land. The grasses (Violetalia calaminariae) are metal tolerant species which readily colonise the former spoil tips, scree slopes, rock outcrops, buildings, shafts and adits entrances. The grasses are notable for having associated scarce species of lead moss (Ditrichum plumbolica) and lichens (including Vezdaea cobria, Lecanora handelii and Gyalidea subscutellaris). This habitat is one of the primary reasons for the selection of the Elenydd area as an SAC.
European dry heaths (EU Habitat Code 4030) – these typically occur on fee draining acidic soils, and contain species such as heather (Calluna vulgaris) and gorse (Ulex Sp.). Dry heaths are present in areas across the CMT land. This habitat is a qualifying reason, but not a primary one, for the selection of the Elenydd area as an SAC.
Oligotrophic to mesotrophic standing waters of the IsoetoNanojuncetea (EU Habitat Code 3130) – these include the clear water lakes and reservoirs across the Elenydd area, with shoreweed (Littorella uniflora) considered to be the defining component. Although no such areas lie within the CMT area, they could potentially be affected by works at the site. This habitat is a qualifying reason, but not a primary one, for the selection of the Elenydd area as an SAC.
5.1.3 The SAC designation also includes the following Annexe II Habitat:
Floating water-plantain Luronium natans (EU Habitat Code 1831) – this occurs in a range of freshwater situations, including lakes in the uplands and slowly-flowing lowland rivers, pools, ditches and canals. Such features occur across the CMT area in pools adjacent to the streams and River Ystwyth, and former leats and channels which retain water. Pillwort (Pilularia globulifera), another nationally scarce plant, can also occur in these habitats. This habitat is one of the primary reasons for the selection of the Elenydd area as an SAC.
5.1.4 The SAC designation includes two other Annex I habitats, but these are not present within the CMT area, namely Old sessile oak woods (EU Habitat Code 91A0) and Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines (EU Habitat Code 9180).
5.2 Legal Protection of an SAC area 5.2.1 The full legal measures to protect SAC areas are laid out within the ‘Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010’. This includes legislation for the protection of the designated habitats, as well as any protected species of flora or fauna within those. This would apply to the various rare plants and lichens that are present at the site, breeding birds, bats and any other protected mammals and invertebrates that may be present at the site. The relevant protected species are listed in Schedule 8 of the 2010 regulations.
5.2.2 It is also noted that almost all SAC areas lies within Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). For each of the SSSIs a list of operations is included which could damage the site and for which consents must be obtained. A list of the activities relevant to the Cwmystwyth Mines site is included in the SSSI section below. SSSI consents are obtained from Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
5.2.3 Where any proposed activities will require planning permission then the local authority will require assessments of the impacts of the work on the SAC or elements/species therein to be prepared. The local authority will also consult with NRW to ensure the assessment is appropriate and that the proposed activities will not adversely affect the integrity of the SAC. Conditions or restrictions to any such consents may also be applied to ensure the protection of the SAC. Any such consents will be monitored by either or both the local authority and NRW to ensure compliance throughout.
5.2.4 Any planning permission granted for activities within a SAC (once consents have been obtained) will also have environmental planning conditions placed upon it.
6 ELENYDD–MALLAEN SPECIAL PROTECTION AREA (SPA)
6.1 Elenydd–Mallaen Special Protection Area Designation 6.1.1 A Special Protection Area is one designated for the protection of rare and vulnerable birds (in a European wide context) and for regularly migratory species (CCW 1993). The Elenydd–Mallaen SPA covers an area of 300.22 square kilometres which encompasses almost all of the CMT owned land, excluding the lower River Valley and the main area of the mines site (around the mill) (Figure 5).
6.1.2 There are three Annex I birds recorded as nesting within the SPA area:
Merlin (Falco columbarius) Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) Red Kite (Milvus milvus) 6.1.3 All of these birds have been recorded within the Cwmystwyth Mines site, although not all have been confirmed as breeding within the area.
6.2 Legal Protection of an SPA area 6.2.1 As with the SAC, the full legal measures of protection for the SPA are laid out within the ‘Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010’. The SPA designation reinforces that the species therein are protected in a European wide context.
6.2.2 Again, the inland SPA areas all lie within Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the consents and regulations applicable for the SSSI are the same as for the SPA.
6.2.3 Where any proposed activities could impact upon the SPA (whether requiring planning permission or otherwise) an appropriate assessment of the impacts of the work will need to be prepared and approved by the local authority and NRW. The assessment will need to demonstrate that the proposals will not have an impact upon the special European wildlife interest of a SPA to proceed.
Conditions or restrictions to any such consents may also be applied to ensure the protection of the SPA. Any such consents will be monitored by either or both the local authority and NRW to ensure compliance throughout.
6.2.4 Any planning permission granted for activities within a SPA (once consents have been obtained) will also have environmental planning conditions placed upon it.
7 SITES OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST (SSSI)
7.1 Sites of Special Scientific Interest 7.1.1 The SSSI designation recognises those places that are of national importance in terms of the natural heritage. They are a UK base designation, although as noted above, they can also have additional internationally important designations such as SAC or SPA status. The purpose of the designation is to safeguard the quality, diversity and geographic range of habitats, species and geological features for the future.
7.2 Elenydd SSSI 7.2.1 The Elenydd SSSI covers an area of 227.7 square kilometres (CCW undated(a) and undated(b)). The SSSI contains the Elenydd SAC and the majority of the Elenydd–Mallaen SPA. The SSSI covers the majority of the CMT owned area of the Cwmystwyth Mines excluding the lower river valley and the mill area of the mines, which has its own SSSI designation (Mwyngloddfa Cwmystwyth, see below) (Figure 6).
7.2.2 The citation for the designation includes both habitats and species as covered by the Elenydd SAC and Elenydd-Mallaen SPA (Calaminarian grasslands, blanket bogs, raptors etc) (Appendix 2; CCW undated(b)). In terms of bird species the SSSI citation includes numerous other birds, including raven, buzzard, hen harrier and short eared owl. The full citation is included in Appendix 2.
7.2.3 The SSSI designation also covers the physical geological importance of the site specifically mentioning the Cwm Ddu landform in terms of mass movement and also for Pleistocene/Quaternary deposits; and the Cwmystwyth mines site in terms of the mineralogy.
7.2.4 Within the Core Management Plan for the Elenydd SAC document, a descriptive overview of the conservation objectives for the constituent SSSI sites within the SAC area is included (CCW 2008, revision 2013; Annex 1). The following parts are taken from the Elenydd SSSI section where relevant to the Cwmystwyth Mines site.