Businesses out of pocket after Easter washout

1 week ago
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March has been especially wet across Pembrokeshire and south Wales

By James McCarthy

BBC News

Heavy rain left Welsh businesses cancelling Easter bookings - leaving them out-of-pocket instead of in-the-money.

The holiday is a big income generator for tourism but some firms had to close entirely because of the weather.

Others less badly hit were still left having to partially shut down because of flooding.

Weatherman Derek Brockway said March had been especially wet across Pembrokeshire and south Wales.

He feared April could bring more rain yet.

Heritage Coast Campsite, in Monknash, Vale of Glamorgan, had to shut and refund customers who had booked.

Owner Philippa George said: "It's not just that it rained, it would've been miserable for people to camp there. The ground is sodden.

"We don't want our guests memories of their holiday to be miserable.

"We're hoping to reopen on the 12th of April but it isn't looking any better at the moment. So we have to make the hard decision on whether to leave it until May."

The ground was left sodden by rain.

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Phillipa George said Heritage Coast Campsite had to shut and refund customers who had booked

"If you drive any campervans or cars there it's going to be a mud bath, which affects people coming later in the year as well," she said.

Business at the National Trust-run Dyffryn Gardens, in Vale of Glamorgan, had been "challenging".

Visitor programs manager Caroline Dadd said: "We had to invest in matting for the car park because the ground conditions were so poor.

"We were able to fit everyone in the car park over the weekend but only just because the weather dried out on the Saturday and Sunday."

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A spokesman for GYG Karting, in Cerrigydrudion, Conwy, said the weather had been "quite negative".

They added: "Bookings are quieter for this time of year due to people waiting to see what the weather is doing.

"I don't know if it's all weather-related, it could be because of the recession.

"It has been quite negative for us, as we've had less bookings than usual."

Image source, Geograph/ Gareth James

Image caption,

Business at Dyffryn Gardens had been "challenging"

Richard Workman, director of Shell Island Holiday Park in Llanbedr, Gwynedd, said: "Easter is the first big income you get for the year.

"You rely on a good Easter to generate the income that you have spent over the winter period on renovations and paying the bills.

"We dropped our capacity down to about 75% this Easter, we have still got areas that are flooded on low level grounds.

"The tractor has spent most of the weekend towing cars off."

Sophia Christou of Bay5 Coffee House in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, said her Easter had been "reasonable".

"We've had such a long rainy period now that whenever we get a glimmer of sun people are like 'right, let's make a day of it'," she said.

Image caption,

Bay5 Coffee House's Sophia Christou said her Easter had been "reasonable"

Llanfair Slate Caverns' Rob Owen said the business had bucked the trend.

He said: "It's given us a boost as we're an indoor attraction. We're up a bit on Easter last year."

Weatherman Derek Brockway said Wales had a wet March especially in parts of the south and Pembrokeshire.

Cardiff had almost double its average March rainfall with 167mm (6.5in), he said, while Crymych, in Pembrokeshire recorded 290mm.

The meteorologist said: "It's been very wet in Swansea too with over 200% of the average rainfall on Mumbles Head.

"Parts of mid and north Wales were less wet, but rainfall was still above average with 138mm of rain in Bodelwyddan and 109mm in Trawsgoed."

He added that rainfall had generally been above average in Wales over the last nine months.

Climate change, he said, could be playing a part.

"February was the warmest on record and warmer air holds more moisture so when it does rain, it rains harder with our winters becoming milder and wetter with less snow and frost," he added.

Image caption,

Weatherman Derek Brockway said Cardiff had almost double its average March rainfall

Wales could be facing more rain yet.

"April is likely to be another wetter than average month with further rain and showers," said Derek.

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