Volunteers go MaD for Snowdonia

Volunteers go MaD for Snowdonia

The Snowdonia Society’s third annual Make a Difference (MaD) Weekend did just what it said on the tin.

From Friday 13th to Sunday 15th September supporters spent the weekend restoring nature reserves, maintaining footpaths, litter picking and clearing invasive species to help make a difference in the National Park.

Snowdonia Society Director John Harold said “We’re delighted that a record 125 supporters came from near and far – some for the third year running – to make the weekend a success. The result was an incredible 615 volunteer hours in support of our National Park, with 10 partner organisations working together in this annual celebration of volunteering.”

Many of the volunteers also camped under a star-filled sky for the weekend and enjoyed a nature walk, astronomy workshop, outdoor feast and live music by night.

John added: “We’re indebted to our wonderful volunteers and our project partners – for making MaD 2019 such an inspiring event”

The MaD Weekend in numbers:

½ acre invasive plant species were removed from habitats
550kg of litter was collected from shore, lake and summit
25 natural dams were dug for peatland restoration
33 nesting boxes were built for native species
15km of footpath was restored
3kg carrot cake was consumed (donated by local business Big Rock Cafe)

What our partners said:

As a business operating on the shores of Llyn Padarn we see first-hand the pressure the place is under during the summer months. Supporting the MAD weekend is a fantastic opportunity for us to give something back for a worthwhile cause: This year we loaned our Canadian canoes out to a group of MaD volunteers to enable them to remove hard-to-reach litter from the lake.

Chris Thorne, Snowdonia Watersports

As a new project Celtic Rainforests Wales was really pleased to be taking part in the MaD weekend, and huge thanks to the volunteers that helped us clear ½ acre of rhododendron ponticum. The campsite setting and friendly volunteers from all over made for a really worthwhile weekend. We look forward to next year!

Llinos Alun, LIFE Celtic Rainforests Engagement Officer

Our group added four new trees to the Ancient Tree Inventory and hopefully some of the volunteers will be inspired to become Citizen Scientists and record nature in their home patches! Always good to see the enthusiasm for our wildlife and landscapes that the volunteers bring: I hope they enjoyed the day and learnt something about our awesome trees and woods.

Kylie Jones Mattock, Woodland Trust

A really positive event, well done! It was a great day and the weather was dry and sunny, with a  mix of locals and folk from all over UK gathered together to do conservation. There was lots of interest in the Farmhouse at Llennyrch and the future of the site. We worked with our Estate contractors Keyhoe Countryside to produce 20 bird and bat boxes, using timber milled and sourced from our sites. It was really popular and great for all ages, and now we will work to install and monitor the wildlife (probably with Snowdonia Soc during our monthly work parties).  I am looking forward to MaD 2020!

Ed Midmore, Woodland Trust

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