Half way through the school summer holidays, the Snowdonia National Park Authority and its partners’ efforts to encourage and facilitate a sustainable visit to the area continues.
Since the end of the first Covid-19 lockdown, Snowdonia has seen unprecedented numbers of visitors to the National Park. While foreign travel rules and restrictions remain in force for some popular summer destinations, the Park Authority expects to see a continuation of the current trend to holiday at home in the National Parks.
In anticipation of another busy visitor season, the Park Authority and its partners spent the winter working in collaboration on proposals to address some of the problems encountered last year.
One of the main problems encountered was people pressure and the numbers of cars parking unlawfully or dangerously in the National Park, especially in the most popular areas. To try and reduce the effect of cars at honeypot areas the Park Authority now operates a pre-booking parking system at Pen y Pass and has worked in collaboration with Gwynedd Council to expand and promote the bus service operating in the Yr Wyddfa and Dyffryn Ogwen areas. For the longer term the Park Authority is working with partners on a new and innovative parking and transport scheme for the area. For this year we encourage users to take advantage of the enhanced bus services provided including the new service in the Ogwen area.
Thanks to additional funding by the Welsh Government there is also enhanced presence on the ground this year as more Seasonal Wardens have been appointed for the season. As well as being available to offer advice to visitors, they are also our eyes and ears on the ground to report on any issues that may arise so that they can be addressed promptly. We are also very fortunate to have a dedicated team of Voluntary Wardens for the Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) area.
Unfortunately, along with an increase in visitor numbers comes an increase in the volume of litter to be dealt with. While partnership work is ongoing in the background to address this issue through behavioural change campaigns, our team of Caru Eryri volunteers are doing a fantastic job out on the ground. In collaboration with the Snowdonia Society, the Outdoors Partnership and the National Trust, we have many teams of volunteers out every weekend advising visitors and litterpicking.
All these components are brought together through the 2021 communications campaign, #PlanDiscoverProtect. The campaign’s overarching message is that the National Park is a special and sensitive area with thriving communities, and that visitors have a role to play in protecting and respecting these special qualities. Through our messaging we also emphasise that Snowdonia is extremely busy this summer and so it is important to book and arrange a visit in advance, or consider visiting during the quieter autumn months.
Emyr Williams, Chief Executive of the Snowdonia National Park Authority said:
“The past eighteen months have been unprecedented in the National Park’s 70 year history, and we as an Authority acknowledge the pressure that the communities have had to endure, especially those communities that have never experienced visitor numbers to the same extent before.
We hope that as an Authority, along with our partners, that we have succeeded to alleviate some of that pressure, and we will continue to do what is within our powers to ensure that the communities of Snowdonia are protected.”
Councillor Gareth Griffith, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said:
“We continue to work with our partners at Snowdonia National Park and North Wales Police to encourage motorists to use common sense when they visit Gwynedd to keep the area safe for everyone.
Bus services are available to take walkers to the start of footpaths. If a car park is full, we ask people to look for a suitable alternative location rather than endangering other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians and causing serious access problems for emergency service vehicles, including mountain rescue volunteers.
The rules are there to keep everyone safe. If you ignore the rules, you are likely to face a fine or your vehicle may be removed by the authorities.”
Notes to Editors
- For more information on the #PlanDiscoverProtect campaign visit the dedicated section on the Park Authority’s website here: [Note as of 27 March, 2023: The dedicated #PlanDiscoverProtect campaign has been archived. The section is no longer available.]
- For more information or to arrange an interview contact the SNPA’s Communications Officer for Planning and Land Management, Gwen Aeron Edwards on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01766 772 238