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Bear Grylls launches planning application for bilingual signs on private island

19 Mar 2021 2 minute read
On the coast south east of Machroes looking towards St Tudwal\’s Island West. By Colin Park,

Gareth Williams, local democracy reporter

A TV adventurer has launched a planning bid to install bilingual signs at his private island off the Gwynedd coast.

Edward “Bear” Grylls, who owns the island of Ynys Tudwal Fawr (St Tudwal’s Island West) near Abersoch, has submitted an application with Gwynedd Council for the stainless steel signs to advise would-be visitors of its private ownership.

Having first secured the backing of Gwynedd Council planning officials for a 129 metre slipway at Ynys Tudwal Fawr in 2015 – despite some local opposition – a slightly amended application was given further approval in 2019.

According to this latest application, submitted by Mr Edward Grylls, the stainless steel signs, in both languages, would be fixed onto the previously approved slipway safety rail.

They have been described as necessary to comply with the conditional approval awarded in October 2019, with officers stressing that the signs would need to be provided in Welsh as well as English.


Last May, during the first lockdown, the 46-year-old TV explorer used his high profile to launch a public message reiterating the need to maintain social distancing and avoid unnecessary travel to some of the area’s beauty spots.

Grylls bought the island, which is in an area of outstanding natural beauty and a landscape of outstanding historical interest, for £95,000 in 2001.

In 2009 Grylls was appointed the youngest-ever Chief Scout of the United Kingdom and Overseas Territories at the age of 35.

But having climbed Everest, journeyed through Antarctica, and grappled with venomous snakes and crocodiles, he has cemented a reputation as one of the world’s foremost adventurers.

He, his wife Shara, and their three sons are said to split their time between the island and their other home in London.

Ynys Tudwal Fawr lies around just over half a mile off the Llyn peninsula, with the rocky grass-covered island measuring around 700m (2,000ft) long and 200m (650ft) wide.

It is expected that Gwynedd Council planning officers will make a decision over the coming weeks.

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