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Campaigners celebrate as under-threat park wins top award

29 Aug 2022 3 minute read
Penrhos Nature Reserve by petersrockypics is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

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.’


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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Hilary Paterson-Jones

Honoured on behalf of all the grassroots campaigners that are fighting hard. It’s not difficult to believe that Penrhos has won, it’s absolutely beautiful. The walks in the woodland are magical, then to find at the edge of the woodland your blessed with a stunning white sand beach. To fell 27 acres of the veteran and ancient trees in the woodland, home to the rare and highly protected Red Squirrel and build 500 lodges is utter madness. LEAVE OUR PARK ALONE….It should be community-run in perpetuity.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 year ago

What were the council thinking of to even consider the idea of building 500 holiday chalets in such a special place?

1 year ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

How many times have we read “council plans this or that”. They seem to be an ever present danger. Cymru is small enough to plan from the center imo. Money saved from abolishing councils could go to health and education.

Last edited 1 year ago by I.Humphrys
Dafydd Thomas
Dafydd Thomas
1 year ago

Hearty congratulations to the campaigners. They have had to fight very hard every step of the way with very little support from the political class. Let’s hope this will help them save the park. Since the story gets a mention in this pro-independence paper, it may be worth noting that planning permission was granted with the backing of three Plaid Cymru councillors. And the initial permission was granted way back in November 2013, not 2016 as stated above. I remember the time well. There was a lot of talk about the application during the Senedd by-election on the island, following… Read more »

1 year ago

This victory for environmentalism in a tourist playground area is a positive turn of events of a kind that is all too rare in contemporary Wales. Granted that the construction industry working in tandem with the tourism lobby represents a poweful faction, but what on earth were Cyngor Ynys Mon thinking of in granting planning permission for something that would be of little benefit to the island beyond some temporary jobs in construction, along with minimum-wage seasonal jobs in hospitality? There are better ways than this to kick-start the island’s economy, and the council needs to be looking at options… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Rhosddu
Linda Balfe
Linda Balfe
1 year ago

This is excellent news! Penrhos is a very special place and thoroughly deserves this award. Please follow and join the campaign to Save Penrhos on social media. The development y must be stopped!

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