Interactive map shows how King owns most of Wales’ coastline – check out your area
From the shores of Llandudno to Portmeirion, from Llangrannog to Llanelli – the lion’s share of Wales’ coast is owned by the King.
The public can now use an interactive map to see what beaches and estuaries are in the Monarchy’s possession.
The Crown Estate and Foreshore Map highlights in purple all parts of Wales’ coast that are part of the King’s portfolio. Which turns out to be most of it, with almost everything from Deeside to Saundersfoot in Pembrokshire part of the Crown Estate, and large parts of the south-east coastline as well.
In total, around 65% of the Welsh foreshore and riverbed is owned by the Crown Estate.
The map does not however show that the Crown Estate includes the seabed out to 12 nautical miles.
The Crown Estate is a collection of lands and holdings in the United Kingdom belonging to the British monarch as a corporate entity. The valuation of the Crown Estate’s marine portfolio in Wales increased from £49.2 million in 2020 to £549.1 million last year.
Powers over the Crown Estate in Wales are currently held in Westminster, with 25% of revenues going to the Royal Family and the remainder to the UK Treasury.
In addition to the Crown Estate, the Duchy of Cornwall – which has now been passed to the Prince of Wales – owns 49 acres of land in the Vale of Glamorgan and is also believed to own the 192 acre estate of Llwynywermod, Myddfai, near the Brecon Beacons, including two holiday cottages.
The Crown Estate and Duchy of Lancaster, which acts as a trust for the Queen, also own 1,232 plots in Wales. This includes land as varied as Ogmore Castle and Tintern Abbey, as well as the 3,000-acre Plynlimon Estate in mid-Wales, and the 450-acre Wildlife and Wetlands Centre near Llanelli.
There have been calls for the Crown Estate to be devolved to Wales, as it has been in Scotland. So far, over 11,000 people have signed a petition calling for the move.
The Welsh Government has backed the calls, with Climate Change minister Julie James saying that it was “outrageous that it’s devolved to Scotland and not to us”.
“I have absolutely written to say that we want the Crown Estates devolved, and we want them devolved on the same basis as they are devolved in Scotland,” she said.
“However, in the meantime, and in the absence of a government at UK level who seems likely to do that in the foreseeable future, in the meantime, we have also sought to develop a very good relationship with the Crown Estates.
“So, both myself and [Deputy Climate Change Minister] Lee Waters have met with the Crown Estates to discuss the various potential in the Celtic sea and around the Welsh coast, where Crown Estate land is involved, and, also, actually, on land as well. So, Crown Estates own some land in Wales too.
“We’ve also engaged with them to make sure that we have as much of community ownership, community benefit strand in the auctions that they are conducting, although the money goes, as you say, back to the Treasury.
“So far, we’ve had an engaged and reasonable reception from them, although that’s no substitute, I absolutely agree, for having the thing devolved to us.”
In July, Plaid Cymru renewed calls for the Crown Estate to be devolved, following the announcement that the UK Treasury could earn £43bn in rents from proposed wind farms off the Welsh coast.
The Crown Estate today announced plans to generate 4GW of electricity through floating winds farms off the coast of Wales, the tender for which will start in 2023.
Research commissioned by the Crown Estate also suggests a further 20GW of floating offshore wind capacity could be established in the Celtic Sea by 2045.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.