Ffrith Beach, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, North Wales (Postal code LL19 7AR) is one of three sandy beaches along the Prestatyn coastline – Barkby Beach, Central Beach and Ffrith Beach. A promenade joins the three beaches, and, at around 4-miles in length, is popular for leisurely strolls and cycling. It has recently been incorporated into the new National Cycle Network. There are spectacular views right along the promenade, extending from the Snowdonian Mountains, the Great Orme of Llandudno and Anglesey to the west, through to The Wirral to the east, and Prestatyn Hillside to the south. On very clear days, glimpses can also be caught of the Isle of Man, the Cumbrian Mountains and Blackpool Tower, while the BHP Billiton Petroleum Douglas oil and gas platform in Liverpool Bay is usually clearly visible. It can be seen in this image as the first small object on the horizon as you view from left to right.
Also seen on the horizon is North Hoyle windmill farm which is located 4-5 miles off the coast between Rhyl and Prestatyn and comprises of 30 wind turbines, each rated at 2 megawatts. North Hoyle is the UK’s first major offshore wind farm and represents a major milestone in the UK’s drive towards cleaner sources of power.
Built in 2003, the project is now fully operational and produces enough clean, green electricity each year to meet the needs of approximately 40,000 homes. This clean generation will offset the release of about 160,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (the main greenhouse gas contributing to global warming and climate change) every year.
The path you see is one of many provided across the sand dunes to protect what is the only surviving largely unmodified dunes along the North Wales coastline. Deemed a site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), they still serve a valuable function as a natural sea defence. On the far side of Gronant are the dunes of Talacre which together form an important haven for birds as part of the Dee Estuary. During the winter, more than 100,000 waders and 20,000 water fowl make it their home. Wildlife experts say Gronant is unique because it supports Wales’ only remaining colony of breeding little terns, a sea bird. They spend the winter at sea off the West African coast feeding on fish. Each Spring, they migrate to this same beach near Prestatyn to nest and lay their eggs on the shingle.