Sheep might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about one of Pembrokeshire’s main tourist destinations.

But with the help of a flock of the woolly animals. Bluestone National Park Resort is further enhancing its biodiversity.

Under the watchful eyes of Park ranger Rob Mackeen, sheep have been brought in to replace conventional grasscutters in part of the resort where a natural wildflower meadow is thriving.

The 3.5 acre Field of Flowers forms part of Bluestone’s Biodiversity Action  Plan and is a project very close to Rob’s heart.

“The area used to be a golf driving range and several years ago I was keen to improve the ground condition by turning it into a wildflower meadow," he said.

"It has to be a natural process and so we’ve steadily encouraged the growth of a range of wildflowers through careful management of the area.” 

“Working with local farmers, we’ve already had two successful hay crops over the past two years from the area and in September we introduced a flock of sheep to graze in the meadow.

“They provide a natural method for taking the grass back so that come next spring, we’ll see the natural growth of a range of flowers and fauna.”

The work is part of the ongoing development of biodiversity within the 500-acre resort, including the historic Canaston Woods.

In a survey undertaken in 2019, more than 320 species were identified in just one day, and there are many hundreds more.

This is great progress since when the site was intensive dairy farm pastureland with virtually no ecosystem and no more than a handful of species and even described in a survey by Cardiff University as ‘an ecological desert’.

Marten Lewis, head of corporate responsibility at Bluestone, said: “Our work shows how eco-tourism can make a positive impact on a local environment and how it can enhance and attract even greater biodiversity.

“We’ve seen fields used for dairy farming turned into some of the richest areas for nature and conservation.”

Bluestone’s many other environmental and biodiverse credentials include a biomass fuelled energy centre, solar panels on lodges, a car-free resort policy and a district biomass system on 60 of its lodges.