Snowdonia authority tells hikers to visit toilet before climbing

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SnowdonImage source, Getty Images

Unprepared walkers have been blamed for reports of human faeces on some of Wales' most popular mountain paths.

Snowdonia National Park Authority said there were toilets at the bottom of the areas main paths which should be used before starting a hike.

Helen Pye, the authority's engagement officer, said reports of faeces on some paths were "upsetting and alarming" but there was no need to add more toilets.

Visitors have flocked to the area over the Easter weekend.

Media caption,
Snowdon is a huge attraction for tourists

"Snowdon is a national nature reserve and so it's really quite a special and fragile environment," Ms Pye told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast.

"But also, I think the impression these headlines give to those wanting to visit Wales is the last thing the tourism sector needs at the minute so we we really don't want to see this sort of thing impacting on people's enjoyment of the area."

Ms Pye rejected claims toilets were closed adding there were facilities at the bottom of all the main paths up Snowdon.

"It's an amazing special, beautiful mountain environment. I think the most appropriate thing is to have toilets at the foot of the paths and not be littering the mountain with things like that," she added.

"This is unfortunately a small minority that perhaps aren't as well prepared, let's say and get caught short.

"And most of the visitors to Snowdon are fantastic, they come well prepared.

"They're aware that they're off on a mountain hike and they listen to the messages that we put out to kind of go before you hike and use those facilities at the bottom of all the main paths."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Queues have become a regular sight on Snowdon as hundreds of thousands of visitors hike up to the top

The call comes after Snowdon guide Gemma Davies said she caught a man defecating on the mountain's railway line.

She said she was "totally disgusted" at the state of the Llanberis path on Saturday morning with stools in paper cups and under stones.

Ms Davies, who led a sunrise hike up Wales' highest mountain on Saturday, said the problem was so bad, she was having to warn people to "mind the poo".

Image source, Snowdon hikes
Image caption,
Snowdon guide Gemma Davies says the Llanberis path was "covered in human stool"

She claimed toilets at the summit were closed along with the cafe and "there were no toilets open at the bottom when we got to the bottom after a seven hour hike".

Ms Davies said: "It is a long hike, so I understand people have got to go but there is a way of going.

"It's like when you go camping. You take a shovel and you dig yourself a hole.

"Doing it in paper cups and leaving it on the main path for everyone to step over, is definitely not the way to go about it.

"It's upsetting to see. We work up there nearly every day and it's just embarrassing."

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