A look at Pembrokeshire’s wild and rugged coast, where life is defined by the rhythm of the seasons and the power of the sea.
In the far south west corner of Wales lies Pembrokeshire’s wild and rugged coast. Life on this ancient coastline is defined by the rhythm of the seasons and the power of the sea.
Fishing these fertile waters has long been a tradition here. Every day, local fisherman Jono Voyce heads out from Solva harbour into St Brides Bay to fish for the lobster and crab he supplies to these coastal communities. With the arrival of spring, he will soon be busier than ever, providing for thousands of visitors who flock to this coast every summer for a taste of the sea.
By July, beaches are the playground for countless visitors. But their activity depends on the tides, which give a predictable rhythm to life on the coast. In Pembrokeshire, where the water level rises as much as 30 feet a day, the tides are some of the highest in the world. The sheer force of the water sweeping in has helped forge this ragged coast and formed its rocky foreshore, providing the perfect opportunity for a great British pastime – rock pooling!
As summer drifts into autumn, October sees new visitors arrive on Pembrokeshire’s beaches. Every autumn, up to 2,000 grey seals come ashore to give birth in sheltered coves and bays. It may seem a strange time of year to give birth, when the weather is about to get worse, but it gives the females a whole summer of fattening up in order to feed their pups an especially rich milk. These youngsters have just a month to grow and put on the blubber they will need to keep them warm in the North Atlantic waters.
A thousand miles away across the ocean, the hurricane season has started. The Pembrokeshire coast is the first to feel the legacy of these storms. In anticipation of huge, battering waves, boats are lifted out of harbours for protection. In the town of Tenby, there is no denying the winter gloom, but by celebrating annual traditions, communities bring in some welcome light and warmth!
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