North West Wales

Snowdon visitors asked to pay for mountain paths upkeep

Walkers on Snowdon Image copyright Getty Images

Visitors will be asked to contribute towards the cost of maintaining paths on Snowdon for the first time.

The Snowdon Partnership is piloting the idea due to the increased damage caused by the 500,000 people who walk to the summit annually.

Snowdon Race founder Ken Jones welcomed the idea, as long as it was voluntary.

After a consultation, the partnership is trialling a scheme which asks businesses in the area to encourage customers to contribute.

Mr Jones told Radio Cymru's Manylu programme: "Thousands of people visit here and don't spend as much as people claim they do.

"But they're good people and I've asked many of them if they'd be willing to contribute a pound to help maintain the paths and they all say they would."

Although Snowdonia National Park manages the mountain, many different companies, agencies and individuals look after it.

They formed the Snowdon Partnership to look at how to maintain the mountain.

Helen Pye, senior warden for Snowdonia National Park, said: "If we can get people to understand the impact they have on the mountain and not just come here to use Snowdon but also want to protect the area, then I think we can succeed."

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Media captionThe idea has received a mixed reaction
Image copyright Eric Jones/Geograph
Image caption The Dolbadarn Hotel in Llanberis is not taking part in the pilot scheme

The 18-month pilot, which begins in June, involves 18 companies and people can donate by adding money to their bills, leaving it in envelopes in B&Bs or the companies can donate profits.

A total of 100 companies were asked to take part but 82 decided not to.

Money raised through this scheme will be used to conserve the Llanberis path as well as other routes.

Llanberis Lake Railway manager Emlyn Pritchard said the business would donate a percentage of profits from sales of local produce in the cafe, such as traditional Welsh teas and bara brith, which is about £500 a year.

Aneurin Jones, owner of the Dolbadarn Hotel in Llanberis, said: "I don't know why they can't put someone at the start of each route to ask for a pound or two in donation from everyone walking up.

"I don't think it's right for us to ask people who come here to stay to pay for damage done by people who are going to the top of Snowdon."

If the pilot is successful, the plan is to develop it for the whole of Snowdonia so various conservation projects can benefit.

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