Help re­pair Snow­do­nia

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

SNOW­DO­NIA needs your help. An ur­gent cam­paign has been launched by the Na­tional Trust to raise £250,000 to re­pair the 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 21 ∕2 miles of path, 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,’ com­ments 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.’

He con­tin­ues: ‘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.’

The cam­paign, which is the lat­est in the Na­tional Trust’s long-run­ning Snow­do­nia Ap­peal, will con­tinue un­til the end of 2017. To do­nate, visit­tion­al­ snow­do­nia-ap­peal

The fa­mous Watkin Path has been se­verely dam­aged, neg­a­tively af­fect­ing lo­cal wildlife

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