The RSPB have made themselves very unpopular with the local population with the proposed car parking charge at South Stack Cliffs of £5.00 per car for non members of the RSPB. I did originally support the idea of this charge, but after reading the local opposition to the car park charge, and the council voting against the application, I’m pleased that the council have voted against the proposal and I hope the RSPB shouldn’t do anything like this again if the public oppose the idea or the RSPB will make themselves very unpopular in other places in the UK as well.
Key Facts (and I quote them directly from RSPB blog posted yesterday.
1) South Stack is protected under UK and European nature laws
and it is a legal requirement that RSPB (on behalf of the owner, the Isle of Anglesey County Council) carries out annual management of the approximately 300 hectares of heathland and sea cliffs. If we don’t follow our own management plan or damage the SSSI/SAC we could face serious legal penalties. Fulfilling these legal requirements requires a substantial sum of money.
2) The RSPB at South Stack owns the Visitor Centre and car park, Grade-2 listed Ellin’s Tower, buildings at Plas Nico and farmland at Pen y Bonc and Gors Goch. We lease Holyhead Mountain and the Range from the Isle of Anglesey Council.
3) We’re very aware that our plans to introduce a £5 (peak-season) car parking charge at RSPB South Stack have met with some opposition. (this point includes the majority of councillors)
1) Sell, or give away, Ellin’s Tower. RSPB is not English Heritage.
2) Terminate leases referred to, or at least allow to lapse.
3) Close the visitor centre and sell the car park.
4) Hand all legal requirements over to the council and leave them to it.
I don't want RSPB to use membership funds to subsidise councils, or be spent on tasks that have no relevance to birds as that is what the charity is meant to be in existence for. Solutions are drastic, but South Stack would still be there afterwards.
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