Statement from the Snowdonia National Park Authority
16:30 on Wednesday the 25th of March 2020
Following the unprecedented volume of visitors last weekend at popular sites in Snowdonia, the National Park Authority and Gwynedd Council will today close the areas busiest mountains with the help of emergency Welsh Government legislation. We hope that these measures will ensure that last weekend’s unprecedented scenes will not be repeated this coming weekend.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will not hesitate to take further measures if required. This action is taken not only to ensure the protection of the public, but to protect our rural communities and to reduce the pressure the spread of the virus will have on our local health services.
These measures mean that there will be no parking or access to the most popular sites in Snowdonia including Snowdon, Ogwen, Cadair Idris Aran Benllyn and Aran Fawddwy. Therefore, we urge visitors planning on coming to climb Snowdon or any other popular peaks and sites to follow government guidance, to stay at home and exercise in their local area.
Emyr Williams, Chief Executive of Snowdonia National Park said:
“Today we will be closing public access to the busiest mountain areas in co-operation with the police and local authorities. We are doing this in response to emergency powers granted by the Welsh Government in order to protect rural communities and health services in the North Wales area and to help prevent the spread of the virus.
We encourage local people who live within and close to the boundaries of the National Park to continue to exercise from their doorstep. We ask those people to visit our website or email for more information. For those who do not live within walking distance our message is clear – do not visit the National Park until the Government’s guidelines to avoid unnecessary travel has been lifted. There will be no parking and the mountains will be closed – respect the Government guidance – stay at home to stay safe.
We hope that as a result of the measures we’ve now taken we will not see a repeat of last weekend’s unprecedented scenes. We will be monitoring the effectiveness of this measure closely and will not hesitate to take further action to expand closures if the situation does not improve”.
The National Park Wardens will be monitoring the situation, but we are also appealing on the public to keep an eye on their local area and report any issues they see so that we can act urgently to address them with our partners. They can get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or through our social media platforms. This includes any issues relating to parking, excess numbers of people or campervans.
More information on closures as well as impacts on our services can be found here:
Statement from Snowdonia National Park Authority
13:30 on Monday, the 23rd of March 2020
Following the busiest visitor weekend in living memory in Snowdonia the National Park Authority will today take further measures to protect rural communities and vital services from the spread of the Coronavirus. In co-operation with the police and local authorities the Snowdonia National Park Authority will close all its main car parks and is also exploring options to close down the most popular mountains and sites if the situation continues.
There will be no parking available for access to the most popular sites in Snowdonia including Snowdon, Ogwen, Cadair Idris, Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake), the two Aran, Carneddau and Glyderau and the Nantlle Ridge. Therefore, we urge visitors planning on coming to climb Snowdon or any other popular peaks and sites to stay at home and exercise in their local area.
Emyr Williams, Chief Executive of Snowdonia National Park said:
“Today we will be shutting down our main car parks in co-operation with the police and local authorities. We are doing this with the full support of the Welsh Government in order to protect rural communities and health services in the North Wales area. This includes working with them to look at shutting down crowded sites and mountains if visitor numbers make it impossible to maintain effective social distancing.
The crowds we saw on Snowdon and around key sites in Snowdonia over the weekend were alarming as it became evident people were not heeding the Government’s advice to avoid non-essential journeys and to maintain safe social distancing, therefore we must act quickly to ensure that this issue is addressed.
Yesterday we called on the Government to tighten measures and guidance to ensure that people are not travelling to the countryside to self-isolate. Today we are taking action. Our priority in these challenging times must be to protect our rural communities and the vital and over-stretched health and emergency services”.
Guidelines have been updated this morning by the Government for those travelling in the UK. These guidelines are clear in that in this period you should not be planning to come to Snowdonia, whilst such guidelines are in place.
More information on the car parks that will be closed and further impacts on our services can be found here:
SNPA calls on Government to institute clearer measures to protect rural communities
22 March 2020
Only 24 hours after the Prime Minister issued tighter measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, Snowdonia National Park experienced its busiest ever visitor day yesterday. The National Park Authority in now calling on the government to institute clearer guidance and measures in order to ensure that the spread of the virus is slowed. Based on the unprecedented scenes in Snowdonia yesterday we fear that the current guidance is not explicit enough for people to protect themselves and others.
Emyr Williams, Chief Executive of the Snowdonia National Park Authority said:
“On Friday night the prime minister announced new restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. This included ordering the closure of all pubs, cafes and hotels. In the 24 hrs following this announcement there have been unprecedented scenes in Snowdonia. We have experienced the busiest visitor day in living memory. The area has been overwhelmed with visitors. More worrying still is the significant crowding on the mountain summits and trails making it impossible to maintain effective social distancing”.
We are calling on the Prime Minister and First Minister of Wales to provide stronger measures on unnecessary travel and social distancing, to ensure that we do not see a repeat of yesterday’s scenes across Snowdonia. Specific guidance is needed on what “necessary travel” actually entails. We also call on all visitor and holiday owners to heed government advice and avoid all but essential travel, and to stay at home to stay safe.
If no further steps are taken we will need to take drastic measures to protect the communities and health services in North Wales, such as shutting down car parks and trails.
Snowdonia is not the only area experiencing this problem; other visitor destinations across the world have also been overwhelmed. Yesterday, the Australian government were forced to close Bondai Beach following major over-crowding.
Local businesses reliant on the tourism sector in Snowdonia have been leading the way in making brave decisions over the past few days despite the economic impact it will have on them. Major attractions have closed their gates, small activity providers are cancelling their organised events and guided trips. Local restaurants and pubs are turning their focus to helping their local communities by supplying and delivering meals to the elderly and those in self-isolation. The communities and businesses within the National Park are pulling together to help one another, and we need our visitors to do the same.
This major influx to Snowdonia and North Wales in general has caused major concerns locally, with people worried about increased pressure on the NHS, rescue services, food supplies and visitor infrastructure, which is already under pressure due the pandemic.
In these challenging times the Snowdonia National Park Authority will focus all its effort, energy and resource in the coming days and weeks on looking after the communities and businesses in and around the National Park. We will be pleased to welcome visitors back to this beautiful part of the country once the situation has improved.