With the travel restrictions in Wales having now been lifted on July 6th and by now, most, if not all of the closed areas of National Parks and other beauty spots being reopened, these places are understandably seeing more footfall and an increase in pressure on the facilities.
Snowdonia National Park has developed an useful facility on their website to enable people to check on car parking availability, which seems to be updated every couple of hours.
However things are far from "normal" and there have been several reports and complaints by land managers from Pembrokeshire to north Snowdonia of an increase in illegal overnight stays in vans in laybys and by people roadside camping. Climbers have been moved on from such places as St Govan's at Pembs, Parisellas's Cave on the Ormes and from laybys around Snowdonia. Under the Welsh Covid regulations, overnight stays away from the place you are living are still not permitted under the regulations, and when overnight stays are allowed, which will probably be after July 11th, will then only be permitted in fully self-contained and pre-booked accommodation. However, van camping, wild camping and similar, will remain illegal even after that date. In the last few days Police and Park Rangers have taken enforcement action against such campers at several locations. All campsites, huts and bunkhouses are still closed and will be for the foreseeable future. It highly likely that from July 11th the regulations will change, but will still only permit overnight stays in pre-booked fully self-contained accommodation. Sites with shared facilities such as campsites will remain closed.
BMC is actively lobbying the Welsh Government to allow campsites to reopen, as we feel that managed and controlled camping is required to avoid unregulated scenes at honeypot sites.
Van and roadside camping is becoming a real issue - with sanitation being the main problem but when carried out by climbers at popular sites it has real potential to lead to long term access issues. Welsh Government have been very clear that if crowded scenes similar to those seen in parts of the English National Parks are seen in Wales, that they will reinstate the closures.
BMC Access & Conservation Officer (Wales)
> BMC is actively lobbying the Welsh Government to allow campsites to reopen, as we feel that managed and controlled camping is required to avoid unregulated scenes at honeypot sites.
Great to hear this bit, super important I think.
Self contained not classed as campervan with a shower and toilet?
Am assuming that campsites that can take fully self contained motor homes, with waste discharge facilities will be taking bookings, The amended regulations, allowing overnight stays from the 11th, have not yet been produced and probably won't be published until Welsh Gov actually makes the decision to allow the opening of overnight holiday accommodation (probably Thursday or Friday this week?).. Its a slow, cautious, if at times frustrating and confusing dripfeed of info from Welsh Government!
> Great to hear this bit, super important I think.
I just don't get the issue surrounding toilets. Toilets are open in motorway services, garages, supermarkets etc and have been throughout and they've done nothing more than just tape off every other urinal, which I always thought was the rule anyway
Showers may be an issue, but they're not an essential. You don't have one when you wild camp, after all.
But at a push they could hire in a load of polybogs, they are I'd imagine going cheap at the moment with no big events wanting them.
Situation around visiting second homes seems a bit ambiguous, have you seen any detail Elfyn? Seems to revolve over whether you define it as a holiday?
Unlimited travel is now permitted and the regulations on overnight stays only seem to apply to those running holiday accommodation that's a business or Airbnb, caravan park, campsites or similar. The regulations are silent on the issue If its your own holiday or second home but the guidance (scroll right down the list) states if its your own holiday/second home, then thats allowed.
Lovin' the latest incident report from the Oggie boys... Just needs a 'rolling eyes' emoji:
Two days after travel restrictions were lifted in Wales the team were predictably called for 3 people lost on the North Ridge of Tryfan in the forecast heavy rain and poor visibility. They were located by Phonefind on the Eastern Traverse close to North Gully and were unable to move or contact the rest of their party who were close by. A party of 4 walked up to their location and then it took a further 3 and a half hours for them to walk back down the North Ridge.
Molly Thompson-Smith has become the first British woman to onsight 8b with an ascent of Odysseus at Götterwandl in Tyrol, Austria.