Wakeboarders are towed along by ropes systemded by an aerial cable system

Wakeboarders are towed along by ropes system by an aerial cable system. Swans, geese and other resident wildlife would be well advised to stay out of the way

A plan by the Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council to commercialise Penarth’s Cosmeston Country Park. by setting up a revenue-generating wake-boarding “activity franchise” there, is set to run into public opposition .

Already over 80 people have signed an on-line petition  demanding that the Vale Council drop its controversial scheme and leave Cosmeston Lakes Country Park as the quiet, restful, rural retreat that it currently is.The petition is on

The on line petition which aims to halt the Vale Council's money-making scheme in its tracks. See

The on line petition which aims to halt the Vale Council’s money-making scheme in its tracks. See

The proposed “wake-boarding” centre would be set up on one of the two lakes at Cosmeston.

Between two and five steel towers would be fixed into the bed of the lake – connected by an overhead cable system to form a continuous aerial loop.

Ski-lift-type tow ropes would suspended from the aerial cableway down to the wakeboarders on the surface . The wakeboarders would be drawn-along through the  water by an electrically-powered system similar to a ski-lift.

If wakeboarders fall over, they let go of the tow rope and would have to swim back to the shore, scramble back to dry land and walk back to the launch area to remount their wakeboards.

The lakes at Cosmeston are  known to have very steep underwater gradients around their shorelines – as established in recent soundings taken by Cardiff Sub Aqua Club  . The lakes also have very low water temperatures and would require the use of wet-suits

The Cosmeston wakeboarders would be able to entertain themselves by performing stunts - although whether they would be appreciated by other visitors remains to be seen

The Cosmeston wakeboarders would be able to entertain themselves by performing stunts – although whether they would be appreciated by other visitors remains to be seen

The charge for wakeboarders would probably be around £25 for two hours – or £50 for a day . The system has the advantage than no outboard powered tow boats would be necessary – but a safety boat would have to be on hand to rescue wakeboarders  who get into trouble.

Another member of staff would be required at all times to operate the system and receive the cash. It’s anticipated the system would be at its busiest in July and August with up to 100 wakeboarders a day booking time on the system.

Environmentalist Anne Greagsby has set up the petition

Environmental campaigner and Plaid Cymru candidate  Anne Greagsby has set up the petition

An on-line petition  opposing the development has been set up by  local environmental activist Anne Greagsby . Ms Greagsby – who is also standing for election as a Vale Plaid Cymru Candidate for St Augustines Ward in next May’s elections –  says :- “ The ‘peace and tranquility at the’ lake at Cosmeston Country Park that we value so much would be seriously disturbed by commercial cable-wakeboarding where wakeboarders towed by a wire steer around obstacles We object to the visual impact of ugly ‘tower-supports for the towing wires, also noise from wakeboards hitting the water. and from the PA system. This will be worse during the competitions as scheduled . The Council claim of environment-friendly is false, when such noisy water activity will scare off many if not all the visiting and resident birds”

Ms Greagsby also points out that the Cosmeston Lakes site is an SSI [a site of Special Scientific Interest] which – she says –  “should exclude recreational activities likely to damage the qualifying features. The lake that has a resident population of up to 60 Mute Swans. some of which nest, occasionally a similar number of Canada Geese, 100’s of Gulls and Coot, and other wildfowl from autumn through to spring. Not to mention birds such and Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Bunting which nest in the reed bed which no doubt would be disturbed by the wash that wakeboarding creates.”

The petitioners say “We do not want to see Cosmeston turned into a noisy pleasure park.” As of this morning  90 people have already signed the petition.

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  1. penarthblog says:

    I don’t think this would be be appropriate for Cosmeston.

  2. Christopher David says:

    I’ve clicked the link but I’m not at all sure I’ve signed the petition! Anyway, anything that is not sympathetically educational should be resisted. Don’t by the hapless VOG spoil Cosmeston

  3. Christopher David says:

    Typo above sorry. Anyway have signed and shared on FB.

  4. Kevin Mahoney says:

    I’m all for exploring revenue raising ideas for Cosmeston but I feel that this idea would help destroy the aspect of the park as a decent, countryside based mainly peaceful country park enjoyed by thousands of individuals and families.

  5. Ford Prefect says:

    Oh the Vale NIMBYs are at it again! Its alright for us to live here on greenfield sites, but heaven forbid if people might want to come and enjoy themselves whilst creating employment!

    • B Looper says:

      The estimated peak number of boarders over the summer is 100 a day which could potentially mean another 100 cars on the roads to visit Cosmeston. I just thought I’d point that to you as I know how much you love cars,

    • Tom says:

      Ford Prefect. Can’t you stop your misguided sneering for a moment to think of the effect on the WILDLIFE??? It is you who is me, me, me, not the so-called NIMBYs.

    • Ford Prefect says:

      I agree we have to look out for wildlife. I also agree that there are too many cars on the roads. However, the problem with cars is their use as commuting tools when other, better alternatives exist. If we didn’t have rush hour, there wouldn’t be a problem and cars would be used for topical use and in places where there was no alternative.

      My main frustration lies in the Penarth and Vale attitude to development. Anything and everything is instantly jumped on and opposed by Penarth residents. Now its no secret that a lot of wealthy people live around here, so its a shame that so many of them are so quick to deny others the opportunity to have a house, a job, a safe route to cycle or walk on etc.

      And for the record, I have no idea who Lindsay is.

  6. Steve says:

    I know of a similar site and facility in Nottingham. It is pretty low impact from an environmental perspective with next to no noise, little infrastructure required and minimal pollution. Whilst it would clearly have an impact on the area, I’m undecided as to whether this would have any particular negative affect upon the area.

  7. Peter Church says:

    Why would anyone want to setup a wakeboarding area on Cosmeston?
    Next thing is we will be having jet-ski and speedboats.

    I go to Cosmeston for a quiet peaceful walk.

  8. What an utterly stupid idea, and as Peter Church says , he and others go to Cosmeston for the peace and tranquillity and the wildlife. One thing id like to say is WHERE DO THEY COME UP WITH THEIR CRACKPOT IDEAS???? They have breeding birds at Cosmeston plus the other wild life, I don’t that fits in with overgrown children ruining the place.

  9. Joe blow says:

    Cardiff Bay is crying out for something like that.

    Cosmeston should make it easier for natural watersporters such as canoeists and beginner windsurfers. They have little impact and are quite relaxing to watch.

    • snoggerdog says:

      the only crying out in the bay are the wildlife,we encourage to feed nest & settle in,then frighten the s*** out of them letting “who can scream the loudest for no particular reason R.I.B.s ” racing around degrading the edges of the lake. take them out to sea on a windy day,that will give them something to scream about

  10. Tim Russell says:

    There’s a nice quiet wilderness lake over the other side of the bridge for the birds….mostly seagulls. This would be an asset…cosmeston has come a long way from the days when it was a dusty derelict quarry….which was great fun for off road cycling and motorbikes back in the late 70s! No birds around in those days!!! However I agree with the previous comment. Why wouldn’t you put this next to the white water park in the bay???…keep cosey nice and quiet for the Isis picknicers!!!!

    • As soon as you get away from the boardwalk by the cafe It’s far from mostly seagulls, a quick walk on sunday was enough to see 4 different wild duck species, I wasn’t lucky enough to see the Bitterns (some of only 600 in the UK and a schedule one protected species meaning that almost disruption to them is a legal offence with fines at £5000 an incident) but they’ve been reported this week as well.

      To be honest I’d guess that the regular presence of Bitterns (generally in the other lake admittedly but certainly on site) would make getting this past the planning stage quite difficult.

      • Christopher David says:

        Yes jolly good points. We are blessed to have Bitterns. A little bit of research will reveal far more than just gulls.

  11. Lindsay says:

    Once upon a time, a long time ago, I was told that the attitude of Penarthians was “What’s the question? – The answer’s no”. Nothing changes.

    • Tom says:

      Yes, that’s right, let the Vale etc do as they please and everyone sit back and say nothing. Yes men (or women) might make your life easier but they roll over too easily for my tastes.

  12. The Tax payer says:

    Priceless plan by the VOG to screw things up in Penarth. Come on Town council wake before its to late to save Penarth. After all you do get paid to look after the interests of the Penarth folk ??? Well that’s what you signed up for I think ??

  13. Christopher David says:

    No we should go with licker Lindsay and FPrefect (one and same?). Its only an environmentally sensitive country park after all. A place where people can enjoy quiet, exercise and fresh air. A park where wildlife can enjoy sanctuary and seclusion. We could have spot ball the sparrow, bang the bittern, crossbow the coot, oh and dynamite the dace. Why not add in a water plane landing strip- now there’s an idea. Councillors can use it for jollies to twin towns. There’s a place for everything and everyone. Lindsay yours is elsewhere- Kings Cross….Sydney perhaps 🙂

    • Tom says:

      Normally, your semi-arrogant posturing grates on me but on this, I am with you 100 per cent. Nobody seems to be thinking of the wildlife, not least when so little of their precious habitat is left.

  14. CelticMan says:

    Leave Cosmeston unspoiled!

  15. Lindsay says:

    One and the same? Certainly not. You shouldn’t judge others by your standards Christopher. Remember when Cardiff Bay was but an embryo idea? It shouldn’t have happened because the birds would be deprived of feeding grounds and the basements in Riverside would be flooded. As it happens, the birds were clever enough to find alternative sustenance and Riverside is still high and dry. Kings Cross, Sydney? You’ve lost me, but not for the first time.

  16. Christopher David says:

    Tom- correct its posturing. Its in frustration. See Lindsay the cowards post above. I just get frustrated with remitting idiots, especially selfish sycophantic idiots so basically take I the P which comes out as arrogance in print but hey. Sorry but what do you say to someone who thinks there is a parallel between Cosmeston and Cardiff bay. Sometimes Its like trying to explain basic relativity to chimps and I despair.

  17. Matthew says:

    This is a good idea I regularly go waterskiing in Langorse Lake and would definitely use this if it ever happens! Similar idea was suggested for The Wharf in Cardiff but it never came to anything.

    • Bobby says:

      Langorse Lake is a lot bigger than Cosmeston though isn’t it so has plenty of room for such water sports, so how about they put it in Barry docks?. They do wakeboarding the London Royal Docks and it isn’t noisy, well apart from the shrieks from people falling off their boards!

  18. Paul Seligman says:

    For anyone who loves wildlife, this is a terrible idea. Cosmeston is important both for visiting wildfowl and breeding birds and this proposal would be bound to impact this, as well as some of the rare water plants. The council claims to be following advice from RSPB who have confirmed that they have not been consulted, far less given advice. I doubt NRW will support this either. AS for RSPCA – what ahs that got to do with anything?

    People saying ‘it’s only seagulls’ are obviously not interested in birds or they would have noticed many other species, such as the large number of swans which are always clearly visible from car park and visitor centre when I have visited.

    The two lakes have different characteristics and while some species can take advantage of both, some will only be seen on one or the other.

    I urge anyone who agrees with me to make their feelings clear to the council.

  19. Bobby says:

    When I signed the petition yesterday evening it had about 1,500 signatures, it now has over 4,000 and climbing.

  20. Chris David says:

    Peter Seligman- exactly. If we are going to have activities then lets make them educational or at least sympathetic even supportive. We even have Sand Martins visiting in the summer and as for Bitterns. That is indeed rare and exiting. Glad to hear the opposition is mounting Bobby.

  21. John Wilson says:

    What no-one has mentioned thus far is that both lakes are designated SSSI {site of Special Scientific Interest} [there is even a page on the VoG web site that talks about this ]. The status is due to a UK endangered aquatic plant. The wash and waves created by this activity woudl disturb that and also the birds which nest at water level – Mute Swans, Great Crested Grebes, Coot and Moorhen. Birds nesting in the adjacent reeds would also be disturbed due to the wash – Reed Warblers, Sedge Warbler, Reed Bunting and possibly also Cetti’s Warbler which is heard singing every year and is a Schedule 1 protected species. IN addition the whole park is designated as a Local Nature Reserve. As Paul Seligman says, the RSPB have confirmed that they have not been consulted in any way as yet. The planning application number is 2016/01441/FUL and its title is Cosmeston Lakes Cosmeston Country Park. It is not yet verified by the planning committee so isn’t on the list pf planning applications as yet on the VoG web site. When it is people will be able to comment directly.

    • John Wilson says:

      of course in addition to the breeding pairs, there is a resident population of around 60 Swans, 90 Coot, 100’s of Gulls use the lake to wash and preen, numerous ducks. The overhead cable would be a bird strike hazard, particularly for swans which are often victims of overhead cables. No swimming is allowed due to undercurrents, obstacles from the quarrying days etc – people have drowned – so not sure how the possibility of people falling from the cable tow and swimming back to shore can even be considered OK.

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