Safeguarding Conservation Areas for Future Generations
Many areas in Snowdonia are renowned for their unique characteristics; but as time goes by those characteristics are at risk of being lost or forgotten. To try and safeguard these characteristics for future generations, the Snowdonia National Park Authority is undertaking a special conservation project.
Since the 1970s, fourteen Areas of Conservation have been identified within the National Park’s boundaries, each with their own unique character – from the seaside village of Aberdyfi and its notable architecture in the south, to the unpretentious but historic village of Nant Peris in the north.
A Conservation Area is defined as an area of architectural interest or historic importance, where its appearance or character is deemed to be in need of safeguarding or refinement. But buildings are not the only factors that contribute to an area’s special character – materials, architectural features, landscaping and history are also significant contributors.
Thanks to funding through the Welsh Government’s ‘Sustainable Landscapes, Sustainable Places’ scheme, and the careful guidance of Chambers Conservation, appraisals and management plans have been produced for each of the conservation areas. These plans will form a framework to protect these areas, and a basis for future improvement plans and training opportunities, with the possibility of grant aid for local communities to implement some of the improvements outlined in the management plans.
Input by local communities is key to the success of the project as they are the custodians of local knowledge and understanding of the areas and their history that cannot be sought from any other source.
Elen Hughes, the National Park Authority’s Planning Policy Officer said:
“These plans will serve as a statement of significance and action plan to sustainably conserve and enhance the Areas, with a particular emphasis on making them more energy efficient. By working with the local communities and interest groups to gather information we can produce meaningful management plans in order to protect the character and ensure a sustainable future for these areas.”
The Management Plans have now been drafted and a period of public consultation is underway, where there is an opportunity for the public to comment on the plans. The consultation will close at 5pm on the 11th of November 2022. More information about the Conservation Areas and how to take part in the consultation can be found on the Snowdonia National Park Authority’s website.