1. ITV Report

Merthyr Mawr sand dunes in conservation fight

50 years since being captured on screen, Merthyr Mawr's sand dunes are under threat Photo: ITV News Wales

It been 50 years since the sand dunes of Merthyr Mawr, near Bridgend, were used in parts of the epic film 'Lawrence of Arabia.'

Made in 1962 and directed by David Lean, 'Lawrence of Arabia' immortalised the life of Tremadog-born archaeologist T.E. Lawrence.

Lawrence isn't the film's only Welsh connection, with local legend having it that the vast sand dunes of Merthyr Mawr doubled for Middle Eastern desertscapes in some shots.

But 50 years since being captured on-screen, Merthyr Mawr's sand dunes are under threat. The invasive sea buckthorn - a thorny shrub originally planted to stabilise the dunes - has now spread rapidly across them.

Conservation efforts to protect the dunes have included making them a Site of Special Scientific Interest. They span over 320 hectares and are the second tallest in Europe.