Gwynedd Council in Wales is taking steps to tackle illegal camping and its associated environmental issues. The council plans to launch a trial of five “aire” sites for motorhomes and campervans.
These sites, located in public parking areas or private land, provide a legal overnight stopping place for these vehicle users, according to a report by Cambrian News.
The hope is that the provision of these legal sites will reduce the number of incidents of littering and other environmental problems caused by illegal camping.
Funding for the scheme was secured last May through the Welsh Government’s Brilliant Basics program. If planning permission is granted, each site will have space for up to nine fee-paying vehicles to park for a maximum of 48 hours.
The sites will include facilities for fresh water, chemical wastewater, recycling, and general rubbish. However, traditional camping activities such as campfires and barbecues will not be permitted.
The proposed “aire” sites will be located within walking distance of key towns and destinations, making use of local transport links and infrastructure.
The council will also be reminding visitors about the hazards of illegal camping and encouraging them to stay at licensed campsites.
Cllr Nia Jeffreys, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, says the scheme will contribute to the council’s goal of providing a more sustainable tourism industry.
If the trial is successful, further “aire” sites may be developed across the county. The council is committed to striking a balance between promoting a sustainable tourism industry, tackling the issues caused by illegal camping, and being respectful of private businesses and enterprises.
The impact of the trial sites will be monitored and evaluated, with the hope of launching them in the spring. The council is taking steps to address the challenges posed by illegal camping and provide a solution that suits all sectors.