No to car park charges at South Stack Ynys Lawd (petitioning the RSPB)

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**NEW edit for new supporters** The RSPB have offered new concessions to extend the £20 annual pass to all residents of Anglesey and to introduce a staged fee of £2 an hour, including blue badge holders. Whilst we welcome any move in the right direction, our campaign continues as the material facts explained in this section and all our updates have not changed.

The RSPB have appealed to the Welsh Government appointed Planning Inspectorate against the wishes of the public. They have succeeded in their appeal and the pay & display machines and associated signage have been approved at three locations (only one of which is RSPB owned). They have shared their plans with us for a c£840,000 project to upgrade the facilities at the visitor centre but the vast majority of this project will not benefit the public or nature. The toilet facility upgrade is being publicly grant funded by VisitWales. We would argue strongly that the rest of this huge project should be funded by the RSPB via public donations, membership, legacies, business donations and income from their retail/catering trading company.

We reject the idea that visitors and locals should pay to access their own land so that the RSPB can fund a visitor centre that does not  directly benefit the AONB or nature in any way, save for generating more revenue for the RSPB. We know that any income raised goes back to their trading company and therefore cannot be ringfenced to come back to South Stack. 

We are not confident in any way that once the parking machines are in place and the lease renewed, we will not find ourselves looking at a £5 fee again and perhaps more. This has happened at many other RSPB locations where the fee has risen having been reviewed by RSPB.

The RSPB make significant income at South Stack and across Anglesey from rural payments, lottery grants and tourism/sustainability funds, all public money. We are talking hundreds of thousands of pounds. This is why we continue with our campaign and find that the RSPB taking the legal high ground leaves them taking the moral low ground. 

To be positive, we have suggested a number of possible alternatives to the RSPB such as a donation only pay & display meter.

Welcome to Ynys Môn RSPB, you ain't seen nothing yet. 

**End of edit, original text follows**

The RSPB propose to charge a flat rate parking fee of £5 at South Stack/Ynys Lawd Anglesey. The RSPB is already supported at this location via purchases in the popular RSPB café and RSPB shop and via donations/new memberships at Ellin's Tower/Tŵr Elin. 

The local photography scene is also thriving and local photographers provide free publicity for this iconic Anglesey location. Moreover, the carpark is the only option available to access not only the RSPB reserve but the coastal path, the lighthouse (managed by a separate trust) and the stone hut circles. 

The charge also includes blue badge holders. Whilst it is reasonable that the RSPB need to raise funds, it is counterproductive to introduce a flat rate fee of £5 to park a car at a location that does not exclusively serve an RSPB reserve site. 

South Stack/Ynys Lawd holds a special place in the hearts of both locals and visitors alike as a place of heritage, history and family memories. It is acknowledged as one of the jewels in the island's crown. 

The charge takes no account of the island economy and is out of line with council car park charges which are at least staggered depending on duration parked. 

This petition is not anti-RSPB and no abuse in the comments will be tolerated, it is just asking for a more reasonable and suitable approach based on site specific circumstances.

Thanks in advance for your support, diolch yn fawr. 


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