AN application has been made to the National Park by the National Trust to erect signs to prevent night-time parking at Freshwater West, ref: NP/19/0286/ADV.

The National Trust has a very high-handed approach to this wonderful beach.

Without consent it removed the Listed outfall system which carried the Castlemartin Corse stream onto Freshwater West Beach.

It was not prosecuted.

In doing so it flooded Castlemartin Corse, which is a fragile SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).

Again, it was not prosecuted.

It failed to replant marram grass removed from a dune during the making of the Harry Potter film, leaving the sand subject to wind blow. It has established a campsite at Gupton Farm where it is believed no local farmer would have been allowed to, within sight of this wilderness beach.

Now it proposes to erect cameras and vicious signs at all the car park areas, threatening a £100 charge in order to prevent overnight parking, between the hours of 10pm and 6am.

At the same time, we hope not, but fear that our county council will paint yellow lines along the roads to prevent roadside parking. Yet the National Trust invites us all to come and view the display of stars visible from Freshwater West…

Where are we now to park at night?. Perhaps at their own Gupton car park. But National Trust car parks have a fixed charge of £5 no matter how short the stay. The distance to the beach from the Gupton car park will restrict it to the able-bodied.

The frail, elderly, disabled and poor will thus be excluded from what has always been inclusive and freely accessible to all

The National Trust undoubtedly does a great deal of good. But we are beginning to feel that poorer Pembrokeshire people are going to be priced out of this beach which has always been open and free to all.

I ask all who love the wilderness that is Freshwater West to help to get this planning application rejected. The aim to prevent overnight parking is understandable when the Trust has its own available campsite up the road, but it will prevent casual night-time usage by local people and add more intrusive development within our wild area.

I am also concerned that night-time prohibition may be the first step to charging for daytime and even restricting parking.

I urge people to contact their councillors or the National Park to prevent any restrictions on parking there. The only signs at Freshwater West should be warning of the very dangerous and unsafe bathing and surfing conditions, and those prohibiting entry to the military range area.


Chairman of the Pembrokeshire Branch of CPRW,