What made you volunteer for the National Park?
Having retired from running a campsite on the outskirts of Caernarfon, I was looking for something to get me out and about. I have always enjoyed the hills, so I looked towards the National Park for an opening. I found the Snowdonia Society and was soon out on their work parties across the National Park.
What has been your experience of volunteering in the National Park so far?
Being outdoors meant even more after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. So when the request came for the ‘Welcome Back’ scheme through the Snowdonia Society, I was one of the first to sign up to volunteer. The scheme saw me out twice a week for the programme’s eight weeks. I enjoyed being out with like-minded people, assisting the Park staff in keeping the area tidy and helping those new to the hills to appreciate the environment safely.
The Caru Eryri scheme followed in 2021. I became involved in the early weeks whilst we settled into the programme. The involvement of experienced Mountain Leaders was exciting, which brought new knowledge of different aspects of the National Park. I began to appreciate more the nature of the National Park as well as its industrial past. Not forgetting walking paths I have never attempted before. I finished the season by being out nearly every weekend and savouring every hour spent.
Has anything interesting or memorable happened during your volunteering experience?
As volunteers, we sometimes compete for the most dog poo bags and banana skins we collect on various routes. While it’s a great to way to get motivated, it is often a sad sight to see all the rubbish we’ve collected in a day’s work.
Why would you recommend volunteering to other people?
Volunteering is a fantastic way to gain new knowledge, meet like-minded people, help others, have fun and enjoy Snowdonia—even if it is in the rain!