ENVIRONMENT bosses are to meet with concerned residents in Borth to discuss the future of Ynyslas Visitor Centre.

The much-loved visitor centre at the entrance to the Dyfi estuary and sand dunes is under threat of closure as Natural Resources Wales conducts a review into the future of its visitor centres across mid and north Wales.

Thousands of people have signed online petitions in a bid to preserve the centre which attracts 250,000 visitors a year from across Wales and the Midlands.

Ynyslas save our centre
Campaigners are encouraging people to sign petitions in order to keep the centre open (Save our Centre - Ynyslas)

Local county councillor Hugh Hughes confirmed that Borth Community Council has agreed to stage a public meeting with NRW chiefs and are currently arranging a date.

Campaigners are encouraging people to sign a Senedd petition to save the centre and have set up a new Facebook page.

The Senedd petition has gathered 800 signatures so far, with a Change petition against the proposed closure gathering 4,279 signatures.

Polly Ernest, who set up the Facebook page, said campaigners held an ‘action’ meeting over the weekend and want those who care about the centre to sign the petitions.

She said: “We want people to design posters calling for the centre to be saved and to display them in their windows.

“If the centre closes, the whole site is under threat.

“Who will maintain the dune boardwalks, make sure people’s cars don’t get stuck, protect the wildlife, be on hand to offer great advice and help us learn more about the precious and unique environment at Ynyslas?”

NRW is currently conducting a review into the future of Ynyslas as well as Bwlch Nant yr Arian near Ponterwyd and Coed y Brenin near Ganllwyd, Dolgellau.

Announcing the review late last year, Natural Resources Wales said: “We know our visitor centres are a much-loved resource among locals and visitors from further afield and the staff who operate them are rightly considered to be the face of NRW.

“However, public funding is exceptionally tight across the whole of the UK.

“As such, we are having to look across all of our remit and critically review what we can and must continue do, what we stop, and what we slow or do differently to fulfil our Corporate Plan ambitions.

“This is no different to any other public sector body at the moment.

“Our visitor centres are part of this review, but no decision has yet been made on how they will operate in the future. Our review focuses on the offer at our visitor centre buildings and their curtilage – car parks, for example.

“The National Nature Reserves and Forests around visitor centres are key sites for us.

“There is no question that we want to conserve and protect these sites so that nature can recover, and we are unequivocal that public access to these sites will be maintained.

“We will continue to carry out all statutory duties, and will consider the indirect effects of any recommendations.

“Over the coming months we’ll be drawing up options and recommendations for their future, based on our evidence collated and also feedback from users such as yourself.

“The final decisions for 2024/25 will be made by our Board before the end of March.

“We will continue to operate Ynyslas for this financial year, as we review our recreation offer. In practical terms this means that we open the visitor centre as usual between January and the end of March.”

The Save Our Centre – Ynyslas group is also calling on people to write to the chair of NRW, Sir David Henshaw.