Graffiti damages area of scientific and historical interest in Pembrokeshire
Graffiti painted on stones of historical and environmental importance at Pembrokeshire Coast National Park has caused environmental damage that could take decades to recover.
The white paint had blighted a Site of Special Scientific Interest at Carn Ingli, which is home to a diverse range of rocks, springs and scarce plants including lichens and rare damselfly coenagrion mercuriale.
Staff from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority carried out the careful removal work taking every precaution not to cause further damage. They followed an NRW-approved method statement to minimise the risk of further damaging the lichen flora.
They attempted to remove the spray paint with wire brushing, but with limited success. They had to resort to the use of a solvent, carefully catching the paint and solvent residue and removing it from the site, to prevent any further damage. Special care was also taken not to trample any important flora growing on the ground around the stone.
Ross Grisbrook, Environment Officer, Natural Resources Wales, said:
“Not only is graffiti illegal and unsightly, but can also be very damaging to the environment. An area that is a Site of Special Scientific Interest is somewhere that should be nurtured and respected.
“Graffiti can damage the lichen flora that grows on stones. Once damaged, they can take decades to recolonise because they are slow-growing.
“I would urge anyone tempted to graffiti, to think about the impact it will have.”
Tomos Jones, Community Archaeologist, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, said:
“As a national park authority, part of our remit is to safeguard the special qualities that make up the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
“It is disheartening when graffiti appears that could damage scientifically important sites and their ecology, and also the setting of landscapes that are of historical significance.
“The removal of this particular graffiti proved challenging and required careful thought.
“We hope that this case highlights how damaging graffiti can be and also leads to its discouragement.”
Report any sightings of graffiti to Dyfed-Powys Police online or by calling 101.