Opinions and Perceptions of England and Wales Heritage Coast Beach Users: Some Management Implications from the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, Wales


  • R. Morgan
  • T.C. Jones
  • A.T. Williams


Beach, heritage coast, pollution, water quality, control management


Beach users at four intensively zoned "honeypot" areas at the Glamorgan Heritage Coast (GHC), Wales, were questioned with regard to their opinions and perceptions of the beach environment. These were assessed in the light of scoring on anxiety state/trail characteristics and responses to the Eysenck Personality Inventory of the interviewees. Nash Point beach tended to have older, more introverted beach users (p ˂ 0.05), apparently attracted to an uncommercialized beach to enjoy wildlife, scenery and solitude. In contrast, Southerndown appealed to the younger, more extrovert beach user (p ˂ 0.05), who perceived this beach to be safer and better for swimming. The level of refreshment and other facilities provided at Llantwit was well-appreciated by beach users (p ˂ 0.05). Water quality was perceived to be worse at Ogmore than at other study beaches, and it was considered that the presence of beach litter and a potential pollution source in the form of a nearby sewage treatment works, may have contributed to this perception. A close link (p=0.000) was suggested between water quality and beach suitability for swimming. The opinion of the Countryside Commission (whose role in Wales was taken over by the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) in 1991) that all intensively used Heritage Coast beaches should be identified as bathing beaches within the meaning of the EC Bathing Waters Directive was judged to have been supported by the study results. GHC awareness amongst adults (n= 197), was 74 %, with notable differences existing between beaches. Few changes should be made to the general level of facilities at the study beaches, but a number of management recommendations (e.g. increasing Heritage Coast awareness, improving signposting, litter clearance) are suggested.