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Carmarthenshire

Repeated vandalism is damaging much-loved beauty spot and putting nature at risk, warns National Trust Cymru and Simon Hart MP

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Following an increase in vandalism, trespassing and littering at Morfa Bychan beach near Ragwen Point in Carmarthenshire, National Trust Cymru and local MP Simon Hart are urging people to visit responsibly, follow the Countryside Code and not to park overnight.  

Campers with portable angle grinders recently cut the lock on the service access gate to Morfa Bychan beach and set up camp on the landscape, leaving the beauty spot strewn with litter and waste. The beach and surrounding area have also been subject to illegal felling, overnight parties, and footpath gates and posts have been chopped up and used for campfires.    

Morfa Bychan is a place of historical and ecological significance, most of the landscape falls within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This special place is being put at risk when people do not visit responsibly and puts pressure on vital charitable funds.  

National Trust Cymru rangers are having to divert their time away from carrying out critical conservation work, to cleaning up rubbish, toilet waste and left-over BBQs from illegal campers and repairing damaged infrastructure.     

The Trust is working in partnership with Simon Hart MP, Dyfed Powys Police, Natural Resources Wales, Dŵr Cymru, Carmarthenshire Community Council and Pendine Community Council to overcome these issues and ask the local community and other visitors to report any anti-social behaviour to the police. 

The beach at Morfa Bychan near Ragwen Point in Carmarthenshire (Image: Geograph / Dara Jasumani)

There is limited parking above the beach, but access is most easily achieved on foot. If there are no spaces on arrival, we ask you try another nearby location to avoid blocking service or emergency access.  

Meg Anthony, National Trust’s General Manager for Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion said:  “It’s a real concern to see the misuse of Morfa Bychan increasing and people not visiting responsibly. The overnighters are frequently leaving human waste, used toilet tissue, BBQs and other litter across the beautiful countryside that they themselves have come to enjoy.  

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“We urge people to treat the countryside with respect for the sake of nature and other visitors, please only stay overnight at authorised sites, take your rubbish home with you when you visit and do not go to the toilet where there are no facilities. 

“Our rangers and volunteer COASTodians visit Morfa Bychan regularly, but we would welcome any reports from the local community of anti-social activity that we can resolve with the help of the police.” 

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Simon Hart, local MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire added:  “Morfa Bychan is a very special, wild place which I’ve been visiting for decades. I’m delighted that more people know about it and are enjoying the beach but it is being spoiled by a selfish few. Trees have been cut down with chainsaws, quad bikes driven over the shingle bank and human waste left behind. Local residents regularly pile up the rubbish and the National Trust is very good about collecting it – one autumn we even cleared away an old trampoline and a dead caravan. I would urge people to come and enjoy the beach without leaving anything behind or doing any damage.” 

A spokesperson for National Trust added: “We know that being out in nature and enjoying the beautiful coast and countryside that Wales has to offer has been a saving grace for many over the last year, we just ask that people please visit safely and responsibly and look after these places so they can be enjoyed for generations to come.  

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“To work alongside the local ranger team, the Trust are also looking for volunteer COASTodians for Morfa Bychan, to help look after this special landscape with regular beach cleans.  

“We would urge anyone planning to visit Morfa Bychan, or other coast and countryside places in Wales, to use the designated car park spaces, or come on foot. At weekends the places we look after can be busy, so we ask people to have a plan B in mind if the car park is full when they arrive. “

(Lead image: National Trust) 


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