North West Wales

National Trust Snowdonia farm £1m appeal in final push

Llyndy Isaf in Snowdonia
Image caption The trust said it had until the end of the year to raise the money.

The National Trust is making a "final push" in its appeal to raise £1m to buy a farm in Snowdonia.

Catherine Zeta Jones and Matthew Rhys have backed the bid to purchase 600-acre Llyndy Isaf, in the Nant Gwynant valley near Beddgelert, Gwynedd.

In just 100 days since the appeal was launched in March the appeal has already raised £750,000.

But the trust's Richard Neale said the farm could only be protected if £1m was raised by the end of the year.

The campaign the 614-acre property, which includes the Llyn Dinas lake, is the trust's biggest countryside appeal since its drive to save Snowdon more than a decade ago.

Farmer Ken Owen is retiring after 35 years and has no son to carry on his work.

Llyndy Isaf is home to threatened wildlife species like kingfishers, otters and the chough, said the trust.

And it needed to be protected because it is "an unspoilt gem" and one of Wales' most precious landscapes.

'Special corner'

Rhys, who stars in the US TV show Brothers and Sisters, thanked those who had already donated money to save the farm, but warned that the clock was ticking on the appeal.

"The farmer has given us until the end of the year, and if we don't raise £1m by then the farm will be sold on the open market," he said.

"So if you, like me, love Snowdonia and want to help look after this one special corner please donate to the Snowdonia appeal, we really need your help."

Image caption Catherine Zeta Jones gave her backing to the appeal in May

Mr Neale, National Trust general manager in Snowdonia, told BBC Five Live: "Anybody who travels through north Snowdonia and goes past the very beautiful lake of Llyn Dinas will have been captivated by this amazing view across the lake.

"The far side of the lake is just beautiful marsh land that gives way to an oak woodland and then to heather moorland and that succession of natural habitats from the lake right up to the mountain top provides all sorts of opportunities to wildlife.

"Everything from kingfishers to otters, very rich bird life and insect life. It's a real gem of a farm."

He said celebrity backers had given the appeal a big boost but added: "It's worth stressing over half the total amount donated to the appeal has been in small donations.

"It's individuals and small groups that have really made the difference - it's them that we are appealing to for the last push."

The National Trust said that if the appeal succeeds, walkers and campers will continue to have access to the farm and land around the lake, the basic campsite and bunk barns will be open to everyone and there are plans to start improving the network of footpaths.

In 1998, Sir Anthony Hopkins helped raise £4m to buy the Hafod y Llan estate on the southern flank of Snowdon when he got involved in a similar appeal.

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