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Thread: Proposed £5 parking charge at RSPB Carpark South Stack Holyhead

  1. #1

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    Proposed £5 parking charge at RSPB Carpark South Stack Holyhead



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    We completely understand why some people have expressed concern about the introduction of car parking charges at RSPB South Stack. We have managed to grant free access to the reserve since we took on the lease of the site in 1977 of approximately 750 acres of lowland heathland. Sadly, the costs in the form of an annual debt to us as a charity for doing so means this is no longer sustainable.

    As we’re sure you’re very well aware, the wildlife in our countryside remains under considerable pressure from a growing number of threats. Consequently, the amount of work that the RSPB and other conservation organisations have to do is increasing annually. Managing nature reserves costs a lot of money. Buying new areas of land for wildlife and securing it for future generations; managing, maintaining and creating habitats so that they are in the best possible condition for wildlife to thrive in them; providing high quality facilities for visitors to our 200+ reserves across the UK and outdoor learning to thousands of children from all financial backgrounds, costs the RSPB millions of pounds every year. The costs of doing all this work are rising annually.

    At the same time, public sector spend on wildlife conservation from which the RSPB can benefit, is falling. The availability of grant income which has helped to pay for much of our work has shrunk markedly in recent years. The RSPB is very grateful for members and supporters donations without which we would be unable to do much of our conservation work across the UK. Unfortunately, this money does not bridge the gap to enable us to operate sustainably as an organisation and deliver all the work listed above against a backdrop of increasing threats to nature and reduced sources of other income.

    Introducing a £5 charge for car parking will ensure that we are able to continue to deliver our conservation mission. The beautiful environment at RSPB South Stack needs managing every year to maintain its beauty and ensure it provides exactly the right kind of habitat for the scarce wildlife that lives on the reserve to thrive. If we did not spend money on its management it would quickly lose its beauty and value to wildlife. The landscape has been managed by people for hundreds if not thousands of years and in order for species such as the Silver-studded blue butterfly to survive it has to continue to be managed.

    The charge will also provide facilities for the large number of visitors, including very many families, who visit the site each year and use our facilities for their leisure. For example, staff that can help them get the most out of their visit, the events we run on the reserve, the network of paths, a safe place to park their vehicles, Ellin’s Tower a grade II listed building with information about reserve, the designated children’s play area and the toilets. This facility supports local businesses by purchasing goods to sell in our café and employing local people.
    The public nowadays have very high expectations when they visit sites like RSPB South Stack. If we were to scale back on the quality and standard of our facilities and our visitor experience the natural habitat due to a lack of funding, we believe fewer people would come to the reserve and enjoy its wonderful natural scenery and wildlife.

    The good news is that visiting the reserve will remain free of charge to those who arrive by taxi, on foot or on a bicycle. Visitors who support the RSPB as existing members or sign up for membership will get free parking at South Stack as well as benefiting from unlimited access to our other nature reserves across the UK. A family membership comes at a very modest monthly cost allowing free parking for a family of up to 2 adults and 5 children, along with a joining gift, quarterly magazines for the adults and magazines for the children every 2 months.
    This was a difficult decision for the RSPB to take, but we’re afraid we feel there was no other option. Supporting the RSPB by paying the car park charge at South Stack will mean we do not have to divert money away from our conservation mission on the reserve or in other parts of the country.

    We hope this goes some way to explaining why we have taken this decision.
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  2. #2

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    5£ seems a bit stiff to park on a unsurfaced bit of ground admittedly good views but now long is the average car parked there

  3. #3

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    There aren't many things that are free now a days. As members park for free I don't see any difference between this and the NT. Personally I would not have a problem paying the £5 not because I have a lot of money but because I'd know it was money going to a good cause. 👍
    All I ever wanted was to pick apart the day and piece it back together my way.

  4. #4

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    5,500 People Don't Agree

    It sounds reasonable except the land at South Stack was gifted to the people of Anglesey and much of it is on lease to the RSPB by the council. This is not just an RSPB reserve. There is an iconic lighthouse run by a 'not-for-profit' company who donate any excess funds raised to community projects. There are stone hut circles maintained by CADW. The RSPB cafe/shop is well supported by visitors but that will all stop. Many, many people, just pop to South Stack to take in the view for half an hour or so. £5 now to do that and to pay for what? RSPB say it will go towards conservation of the birds, butterflies and flowers. Reality is that a major redevelopment of the cafe, kitchen, visitor centre is in the pipeline with part of the contract already awarded. RSPB South Stack have had a grant of £267, 843 in 2016 from the Big Lottery Coastal Communities Fund. RSPB South Stack had a £12,000 from Tesco 5p Carrier Bag 'Bags of Help' for a new children's play area and nature garden, funded and voted for by locals. RSPB are taking land which is not exclusively theirs by any means and charging people from one of the poorest areas of the country, £5 to see their own iconic Anglesey view, including blue badge holders!

    If you want to raise money RSPB, engage, innovate and raise it by donations, not by compelling people to support you via lazy car park charges. By the way, the membership fee is still out of the reach of many! There is no other sensible access to South Stack but car as anyone who will have been there will appreciate. The approach road is narrow, twisting and dangerous. The coastal path is fine if you are fit and able bodied only. It's up to RSPB to fit into our community and not the other way round. We also don't want to see our visitors fleeced for £5 either. The glorious thing about Anglesey is it is not a 'rip-off' island. It is still a place where families can enjoy a reasonably low cost break. Let us choose the charities we wish to support RSPB Cymru.

    Thanks for listening:
    Petition * RSPB: No to carpark charges at South Stack/Ynys Lawd * Change.org

  5. #5

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    Is this £5 charge going to apply to all the carparks or just at the one at the visitor centre?

  6. #6

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    Signed hope it helps

  7. #7

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    Signed.
    I know the nt do a lot of good work but charging for car parks is going too far.
    Given that the land was donated for the public to enjoy then excluding people on the basis of wealth is outrageous.
    It's no good people saying that you can park elsewhere as often there is no alternative.
    It would seem that poverty is being stigmatised even more.

    In Cornwall they are now charging for car parks which are access to the coast path as well as beaches.
    Years ago when we had young children and very little money one of the few good things I could take them to was the beach.
    In loads of Cornwall this is no longer an option unless you are loaded.
    For the nt to say that their charges are reasonable just shows how big their disconnect with the public is.

    Another rural car park was used by locals all the time but now is charged for and the few off road spaces have been blocked off!

    I can accept being excluded from the houses but to be stopped from walking on the countryside I have loved for the last 70 odd years is very upsetting.

    Surely they could have free parking for the unwaged and locals,

    Here's another protest that I think you can join on facebook (not on it so not sure)
    MP looks to resolve Levant parking dispute | | Cornish Stuff
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  8. #8

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    Well glad to say planning application for parking meters at South Stack has been declined today by Anglesey council. Glad to say the council listened to the voice of the locals!
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  9. #9

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    It’s Brilliant that at the moment the Parking remains Free, & a Well done to the Powers that be for making that decision.

    Just to say as a foot note though, I Have worked with various organisations including The YOC, RSPB, BTO, English Nature, National Trust & Others Over the Years in Both Voluntary & Paid positions & the Simple fact of the Matter is -
    Owning OR Managing Land &/Or Buildings involves spending Money on them.

    I personally don’t see anything wrong with charging a relative & Fair fee to allow someone to Park in or Use what you could look as ‘Your’ Land that will inevitably need Maintaining & Probably Clearing, Signage, Fencing, Path Or Tracks, Possible Seating Or ‘Hides’ Litter Picking, & ‘Policing’ by Someone to ensure any Abuse of facilities are found & Acted upon quickly & then remains Safe & Fit for Purpose in thease days of the Claim Culture’ that we live in.
    If I ‘Use’ someone else s Property Or Facilities I don’t mind paying for the privilege if reasonable.
    Last edited by Nesting Zombie; 03-05-2018 at 08:06.

  10. #10

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    I agree with NZ’s post above but suggest a fairer system of charging could be acceptable subject to agreement with locals.
    £5 might not seem too much if I was there all day but not for half an hour or half a day.
    Some parking elsewhere is charged in short units of a few minutes each, they call it linear parking locally, so 15 minutes might cost 20p, an hour 80p and so on.
    Charges would not have to be linear and might be discounted for longer periods and/or less popular times so all day could, for example, stay at £5.

    RSPB family membership starts at £5 per month, not too expensive if you make use of it but if you support several enterprises the costs soon stack up!

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