The mass influx of visitors to Snowdonia National Park that we witnessed last summer not only highlighted the fragility of the mountain environment, but also its essential role in supporting the physical and mental well-being of both visitors and locals alike. Our 2020 Welcome Back Scheme helped oversee this initial wave of visitors back to the Park. However, as travel restrictions prevailed into 2021, we knew that we couldn’t step off the gas just yet.
By continuing our partnership with the National Park Authority, the Outdoor Partnership and the National Trust; this year’s volunteer scheme, Care For Snowdonia, was able to increase capacity with the addition of three new routes and a more jam-packed schedule of 134 days caring for Snowdonia.
Difficult times clearly bring out the best in all of us, as we were overwhelmed by the number of people wanting to take part. In total, 70 volunteers clocked a remarkable 1653 hours providing an essential presence in several hotspot areas of the park.
Sadly, banana peels and tissues continued to blight Snowdonia this summer; thankfully, our volunteers left no stone unturned, removing a staggering 1033kg of litter from numerous mountainsides and lay-bys. Additionally, with a changing visitor demographic has evolved new challenges; hence volunteers also helped educate visitors, ensuring both their enjoyment and safety in the mountains.
Thank you to everyone who has selflessly contributed their time and energy towards this scheme. Your achievements are testament to the enthusiasm and unity you brought to every volunteer day, rain or shine. To us, this highlights the central role of community in delivering conservation, and that it is people, as well as place, that make Snowdonia special.
We are equally grateful for the support from our funders both in the planning and preparation stage and the delivery phase of this partnership project.