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Over the years, Abereiddy has become very busy as an outdoor recreation destination. At times there have been as many as 14 minibuses, and more than 150 people coasteering on the busiest days. This growth of activity caued conflict between activity providers and the land owners and National Trust who own the Blue Lagoon.
The Pembrokeshire Outdoor Charter group were asked to coordinate a series of meetings with all the local providers using the area, and the landowers and key stakeholders such as the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.
As a result of those meetings, a reasonable capacity for the site was agreed on, and a method for managing numbers was devised for companies wishing to take groups there coasteering. There is now a booking system for Abereiddy with a view to ensuring that it doesn’t get too overcrowded by commercial coasteering groups and that the wildlife and wildness of the area is protected.
Any company can sign up to use Abereiddy however usage of the area for coasteering companies is now limited by voluntary agreement through the Outdoor Charter group to 75 people per half day. To ensure that numbers do not exceed the agreed number, the group have agreed to use an online booking system. There is a one off admin fee of £85 to get signed up to use the booking system, and then each booking for a group of up to 15 costs £11. This fee is for car parking for you group, and has been introduced by the landowners.
In addition, the National Trust own the lagoon, and have introduced a ‘Coasteering Concordat’ to ensure that companies operating coasteering activities there are accountable and safe.
If you are a company wishing to use Abereiddy as a venue for taking groups of paying customers out coasteering, you now need to do the following:
1. Sign up to the National Trust Pembrokeshire Coasteering Concordat, to do so contact Paul Renfro at firstname.lastname@example.org or 10646 405693 .This agreement has no cost, although you will be required provide evidence of your public liability insurance, operate to the requirements of the concordat, and agree to follow the minimum standard operating procedures as agreed on by the National Coasteering Charter Group which can be viewed here http://www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk/professional/advice/coasteering.asp .
2. Become a Pembrokeshire Outdoor Charter Group member it is currently free to join – send an email to email@example.com. PCF will will give you advice about wildlife in the area, so that you know for example to avoid coasteering too far around the coast during seal pupping times etc. You will also get to hear about relevant environmental training events in the area.
3. Get registered on the Abereiddy carpark booking system (contact firstname.lastname@example.org ). There is a one off admin fee of £85 to become registered. You can then get access to the online system to book up slots, and pay the £11 parking fee per session in advance to guarantee yourself slots for the coming year.