A NEW BBC Radio 4 programme has aired, focussing partially on the now-closed Pontins holiday park in Prestatyn.

The Patch, a series telling all sorts of stories guided by a random postcode generator, saw producer and presenter Polly Weston visit Prestatyn for its latest episode.

It aired at 11am today (April 1) on Radio 4, and can be found on BBC Sounds.


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Polly visited the town last October, staying at The Beaches Hotel, and visited Prestatyn Sands Holiday Park several weeks before it closed for good.

She also visited the town’s Salford by the Sea children’s holiday camp, and spoke to its co-managers, Doug Walsh and his wife, Jo, as well as the now-closed Pontins park in Prestatyn, where she chatted to the site’s refuse collector, Kevin O’Neill.

Rhyl Journal: Kevin O'NeillKevin O'Neill (Image: Kevin O'Neill)

At Salford by the Sea, which was founded in the 1920s, she learnt of how the camp has provided a "safe space for children" for many years at its "atmospheric" setting. 

Some of its visitors, she was told, come with "nothing", while others "just want to come and reminisce".

While there, Polly also came across hundreds of rabbits at the park.

Polly told the Journal in January: “The programme is about seagulls in Prestatyn, which is obviously a common thing, but also about the reports about people being attacked by them and the tension as a result.

“When I went to the Salford by the Sea camp, they actually had some gulls on their roofs, and they’ve kind of befriended them because they’ve realised they cant get rid of them.

“They’re like their neighbours, basically. I was quite charmed by that.

Rhyl Journal: Salford by the Sea camp, PrestatynSalford by the Sea camp, Prestatyn (Image: GoogleMaps)

“The really big seagull hotspot in North Wales is right by Pontins. When it shut down, I suspected that the person responsible for refuse there would have some interesting stories.”

Polly also asked Kevin, who worked for 16 years at Prestatyn Sands, about his thoughts on the past and future of the site and the chain.

She attempted to contact Britannia Hotels Ltd, which owns Pontins’ parks, for a comment, but received no response.

“Kevin talked to me about his role as the refuse collector at Pontins, and his relationship with the birds,” she added.

“It was amazing - he said he always wore a cap, because the seagulls go for the highest points!

“With Pontins now being closed, I’d be very interested to see what happens with the seagulls at an empty site.”