Campaigners celebrate as under-threat park wins top award
Campaigners are celebrating today after a coastal park on Anglesey which has been earmarked for closure and relocation has been named the UK’s Favourite Park for 2022.
Penrhos Coastal Park emerged as the overall UK winner having attracted the most votes from the public, beating 364 local parks and green spaces across the UK and making it the first Welsh park to win the overall crown.
The Welsh nature reserve, which includes areas classified as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), has been earmarked to be relocated to Cae Glas, an area used as a toxic waste dumping ground, to make way for a new holiday park.
In 2016 Anglesey council granted planning permission to construction company Land and Lakes, based in England, to build 500 holiday chalets on the site near Holyhead.
The permission was subject to the signing of Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 which commits Land and Lakes to make good any loss or damage caused during the holiday village development.
The plans would see the felling of 27 acres of trees from the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which is home to a variety of protected species including red squirrels and bats.
Campaign group ‘Save Penrhos Coastal Park Holyhead’, headed up by Hilary Paterson-Jones, has been raising funds and awareness to protect the park calling the idea of relocating the site ‘crazy’.
Supporters tweeted their delight at the award today congratulating campaigners and warning that to ‘destroy even one inch of Penrhos would be nothing short of disgusting.’
Llongyfarchiadau i'r ymgyechwyr.
Congratulations to the campaigners. https://t.co/rOxCnPw5bd
— Vaughan Williams 🏴🎗🇮🇪 (@Vaughan_Wms) August 29, 2022
The 200-acre park, which attracts over 100,00 visitors a year and has a history stretching back to 1553, includes beaches and woodland walks and is also home to several features of historical interest, including original Tudor buildings.
This is the first time that the overall winner of UK’s Favourite Parks has emerged from Wales, with Cyfarthfa Park in Merthyr Tydfil, Roath Park in Cardiff and Pontypool Park in Torfaen having taken the national title in recent years but not the overall honours.
Over 30,000 votes were cast for parks across the UK which represented the wide diversity of green spaces from large country parks to major city parks to small neighbourhood pockets of green.
Carmarthenshire’s Pembrey Country Park and Pontypool Park in Torfaen also scooped Local Favourite awards in the Fields Trust poll.
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