Snowdonia needs your help.
An urgent campaign has been launched by the National Trust to raise £250,000 to repair Snowdonia National Park’s broken paths and restore its wildlife habitats, after a recent review revealed the scale of erosion.
More than four million people visit Snowdonia every year, with 450,000 walking up Snowdon alone – a number that has doubled in the past 10 years.
Although the repairs will only focus on two and half miles of path – it costs £180 to repair just one metre – they are vital and rangers stress the need to start work immediately in order to protect rare wildlife, such as the endangered Snowdon beetle.
‘Snowdonia isn’t as tough as it first appears,’ says National Trust ranger Rhys Thomas.
‘When [footpaths] break up and turn into mud, it can be incredibly difficult to know where to step.
‘Delicate upland habitats are being flattened, making it impossible for ring ouzels nesting on the ground along Snowdon’s Watkin Path to find insects to feed their chicks.
‘We are asking all those who admire and enjoy the beauty of Snowdonia to help us repair the paths that will keep Snowdonia looking spectacular for many years to come’
‘I’ve been building and rebuilding paths in the area for eight years. It’s tiring, time-consuming work, involving tens of volunteers shifting tons of stone by hand, vehicle and helicopter.
‘But it’s vital if we want to protect the delicate upland habitats that make Snowdonia a special place for wildlife.
‘If there’s no path or it’s in poor condition, walkers inevitably stray onto the heather and vegetation. Then you’re left with bare patches of ground and that’s when the thuggish grasses start to move in – eventually strangling out the more delicate plants such as purple saxifrage, moss campion and roseroot.
‘We are asking all those who admire and enjoy the beauty of Snowdonia to help us repair the paths that will keep Snowdonia looking spectacular for many years to come.’
The campaign, which is the latest in the National Trust’s long-running Snowdonia Appeal, will continue until the end of 2017. To donate, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/snowdonia-appeal.