Here's just a small sampling of the ways we're helping to care for Snowdon.
The Snowdonia National Park Authority has operated a Volunteer Warden scheme on Snowdon for many years and is growing year on year. Team members offer a friendly and approachable public face for visitors and users on Snowdon. The volunteer wardens work on Snowdon’s paths, summit as well as at surrounding car parks.
The scheme offers individuals the opportunity to:
- Be part of a team and meet new people
- Improve their mountaineering experience
- Gain a variety of training including first aid and training on local history and the geology of Snowdon
- Improvement in employment skills
- Chance to give something back to the area
- Develop Welsh language skills
During March 2018 opportunities to add new volunteers to the team were advertised and feedback from one participant includes the following:
“I wanted to thank you and your team for the work you do with the Snowdon Volunteer Rangers. I have recently participated in the training / introduction day and I have been very impressed.
Staff have been very helpful, encouraging and have been a credit to the national park. The organisation and communication have been great and the ability to put people at their ease in meetings and communicate the National Parks work and priorities has been top class. I have learnt much already and am even more passionate about helping out. I am delighted I have this opportunity to give something back and am grateful to you all.
I think often we don't say thank you and highlight good work. I feel that good news and good work needs to be celebrated and recognised. I understand that there are pressures and difficulties in your jobs but thank you for what you do, It has a huge impact on so many areas of our lives, be that ecology, history, the Welsh language, physical and mental wellbeing and so much more. If it were not for you then myself, my children and many others like us would not be able to do the things we love so much.”
snowdonia giving - a pilot project
Snowdonia gives a lot to us... we need to give a little back. Snowdonia giving is a way of us all easily donating a small amount of money to help save Snowdonia.
young rangers scheme
During the autumn of 2016, the Snowdonia National Park Authority and the Outdoor Partnership joined forces to pilot an exciting new scheme. We were looking for ten enthusiastic and self-motivated young men and women aged 14–16 to pilot our young ranger scheme. As part of the team, these young people had the opportunity to learn a wide range of skills to set them up to become the rangers of the future!
Spaces were limited to ten young people, and there was a lot of competition for the places. The successful applicants stood out because of their enthusiasm and desire to be part of the scheme and their love of the outdoors.
From rock climbing to conservation skills in the stunning surroundings of Northern Snowdonia, the skills developed by these ten individuals were fantastic. Our expert wardens and outdoor instructors were on hand to guide them through the programme.
"I had so much fun and did things I’ve never done before. I was given the opportunity to learn so many new skills.”
Snowdon Partnership - Litter picking
Each year the Snowdonia Society works alongside its partners to host 3 litter picks on Snowdon. These 3 litter picks are scheduled to target the mountain’s litter at key points in the year.
· The first is held at the end of spring focusing on the litter that has built up over winter and the early bank holiday weekends.
· The second takes place during mid-summer to maximise awareness of our work and keep on top of the increase in litter during the busiest period of the year.
· The third and final day of the year is part of the Real 3 Peaks Challenge Litter Pick. Held in October, this event sees several groups tackle all of Snowdon’s footpaths giving the mountain a deep clean before winter comes
As part of our litter picks we gather valuable data to help us compare the progress of our work as well as guide us on future volunteer days. This data is produced in the form of a heat map. The heat map shows the location as well as density of litter and is accurate to within 15ft. This data can be easily understood and clearly marks out the hot spots that need our attention.
Bangor University - Snowdon Litter Survey
The litter left behind by Snowdon's 500,000 visitors each year is a growing problem and this year, the School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography at Bangor University undertook a research project on the Llanberis Path with the aim of looking at if Snowdon's visitors can be encouraged to pick up litter.
The researchers placed a crushed, soft drink can on the Llanberis path and watched to see whether visitors picked it up or not. They also designed and placed four signs conveying social norms (i.e. ideas about what people do and should do in a situation) and attached them to a gate a short distance downhill from the can. The signs were rotated after every 100 visitors and behaviour was also observed when no sign was displayed. 3000 visitors were displayed in total.
Secondly 200 visitors were surveyed to find out their beliefs about picking up litter, and if they had intentions to do so.
The study found that only 1 out of 1500 visitors to the Llanberis path during the summer could be expected to pick up a clearly visible, clean can and they can be 95% certain that no more than 1 in 500 such visitors would do so.
As so few visitors picked up the can, they were not able to detect any effect from their signs and the social norm messages did not encourage more visitors to pick up litter.
The study summarises that even a 1% increase in the number of visitors picking up litter could remove over 5000 extra pieces of litter per year. Whilst the behaviour is rare there is scope for encouragement. The study notes that it does not advocate placing more bins on Snowdon but that people need more knowledge about the location of bins and advice on carrying litter.
For further detail, a link to the summary document can be found here
Llanberis Taclus / Tidy Llanberis
‘Llanberis Taclus / Tidy Llanberis” is a community group set up in July 2017 with the purpose of collecting rubbish in and around the village and keeping it clean and tidy.
The group meets every Sunday morning at 10am outside the Menter Fachwen shop on the High Street and equipment is available to any volunteer who is available to assist in the litter picking.
Since the group was set up they have collected over 200 bags of rubbish, have drawn attention to incidents of fly-tipping, have sorted issues with various groups and have signs notifying people of the importance of keeping dogs on a lead to be distributed in the new year.
Everyone is welcome and for more details and for more information about how to take part in this community activity, follow this link to the HWB Eryri website