“Respect Eryri and help make tourism sustainable” plea as the May Bank Holidays loom

Cymdeithas Eryri Snowdonia Society is the only voluntary organisation existing solely to protect and enhance the beauty and special qualities of Eryri. On the eve of the busy May Bank holidays and the start of the summer season, the Society has issued to plea all who come to enjoy Eryri’s amazing, mountains, woods, countryside and coast to treat the area with respect. They are asking all who visit to do everything they can to reduce their environmental impact and to put something back into area, maybe by joining a volunteering day or supporting the work of the Snowdonia Society.

“Yr Wyddfa is probably the busiest mountain in the world, attracting around 700,000 visitors a year”, says Rory Francis, the Society’s Director. “The sheer weight of numbers coming to Eryri leads to problems of litter, inappropriate parking and worse. We want people to be able to come and enjoy this incredible area, but our message is, please do everything you can to plan your visit in advance and reduce your environmental impact.”

The Society is therefore urging everyone to:

  • Check out the bus and train services and see what journeys you could make on public transport. Check out www.traveline.cymru
  • Book accommodation well in advance and make use of official campsites
  • Plan any walking route in advance, go prepared, take a map and compass, suitable footwear and clothing and sufficient food and drink
  • Before setting off, consider the questions posed in the Adventure Smart quiz, and if you’re not sure if you’re ready for the activity on the day, consider alternative plans.
  • Leave only footprints, take only photographs
  • Follow the country code
  • Support local businesses and the local economy
  • Consider putting something back into the area, by joining a Caru Eryri volunteer workday, or supporting the Snowdonia Society

When Eryri re-opened to visitors in July 2020 there was a sudden exodus to the countryside after the lockdown period. Overnight, issues such as litter, parking pressures, ‘fly camping’, mountain safety and human waste hit new levels as well as the headlines. The message from Cymdeithas Eryri is that, sadly, those problems have not gone away.

That’s why Cymdeithas Eryri co-founded the Caru Eryri project, along with the Eryri National Park Authority, the National Trust and the Outdoor Parnership. Caru Eryri works with volunteers to tackle issues that affect local communities and the natural environment at many of the most heavily used sites in and around Eryri. The Society’s work with Caru Eryri is supported by Cyngor Gwynedd from UK Government funding through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The work is carefully planned so that it complements the work of the Warden services in Eryri. The need for Caru Eryri is greater now than ever, with more sites under pressure as visitor demographics change in response to factors such as Instagram, making previously quiet places suddenly popular, without the services and infrastructure to match.

Last financial year Caru Eryri volunteers put in 5,810 hours conservation work. There were 175 work days and or training days and 34 volunteers completed accredited training. The project organised workdays every weekend during the summer, collected 1,500kg of litter and helped maintain 30km of footpaths.

Etta Trumper, Volunteer and Wellbeing Officer with the Eryri National Park Authority says: “Volunteering is an invaluable opportunity to connect with both the community and the natural beauty of Eryri. By joining the Caru Eryri volunteering scheme, individuals have the chance to forge new friendships, acquire diverse skills, and actively contribute to the preservation of our landscapes. Regardless of interests or abilities, there’s a meaningful role for everyone to protect our fantastic National Park”.

The work of the Caru Eryri project was recognised when it was shortlisted this year for the prestigious St David Awards1. Ian Hampton, one of the volunteers involved comments: “Over the past 50 years I’ve spent a lot of time hill walking in Eryri with family and friends and thought that I’d like to give something back. Volunteering was the natural choice, I get to spend more time in the National Park and, at the same time, I’m leaving the Park in a better condition than when I arrived.

“Volunteering is a fantastic way to gain new knowledge, meet like-minded people, help others, have fun and enjoy Eryri—even when it’s raining.”

Advice on planning a visit to the Eryri National Park is available at www.snowdonia.gov.wales/visit/plan-your-visit

Information on volunteering with or joining Cymdeithas Eryri is available at https://www.snowdonia-society.org.uk/

  1. More about this at: https://www.gov.wales/st-david-awards

 

The Snowdonia Society is a member-based conservation charity that works with volunteers,  local communities, organisations, businesses and individuals to help look after Snowdonia.  Since 1967 the Snowdonia Society has worked tirelessly to ensure that Snowdonia is well-protected, well-managed and enjoyed by all. Through our conservation work we provide helping hands and a strong voice for Snowdonia’s special landscape.  But ultimately it is about the heart – the relationships  people have with the nature, landscape and culture of Snowdonia. More about the Society here: https://www.snowdonia-society.org.uk/

The Outdoor Partnership encourages people to participate in outdoor activities in a safe and responsible manner. Their message is, “Before setting off, consider the questions posed in the Adventure Smart quiz, and if you’re not sure if you’re ready for the activity on the day, consider alterative plans. The mountains, rivers, lakes and coastline of Eryri will still be there another day, and we want everyone who comes to enjoy them, to do so safely. If you’re not sure if it’s right for you on the day, then think twice. The outdoors is for everyone, and we all need to look after it and each other so we can all enjoy it for years to come”.

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