Snowdon Partnership launch plan to 'safeguard' mountain

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image captionThe view from the Snowdon summit is named the best in UK in a poll

A drive is under way to protect the future of Snowdon following a rise in visitors to the mountain.

The Snowdon Partnership Plan launched a consultation on Thursday, outlining the ways it wants to promote and safeguard the area.

It follows concerns about visitor numbers, litter and strains on rescue teams, facilities and the environment.

Snowdonia National Park Authority said it hoped to create the "best plan possible for the area".

According to the partnership, Snowdon is the third most visited attraction in Wales with 582,000 visitors - behind the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay and Swansea's Leisure Centre - and the busiest mountain in the UK.

John Harold, the director of The Snowdonia Society, said the mountain has seen "a dramatic increase in visitors to the area over the last few years".

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image captionLlanberis Pass is popular with cyclists, and in 2013 hosted the Tour of Britain

"There are issues surrounding the pressures of use," he said.

"We are looking at litter, at footpath erosion, the need for people to be aware of their responsibilities and the challenges they are setting themselves when they set out on the mountain, at sustainable transport.

"We celebrate the mountain - people do value it and enjoy their time here - so we are not interested in turning people away.

"We are looking at the positives and putting the limited resources that the partner bodies have to get the best outcome."

The partnership also wants to build on the success of tourism, saying about £69m is directly spent by visitors in local communities.

image copyrightAndrew Ennever
image captionRubbish next to Snowdon's mountaintop cafe

Tracey Evans, chief executive of charity The Outdoor Partnership, said: "Outdoor pursuit tourism is the biggest income generator in the area and it's about managing it properly, identifying those honey pot areas and dealing with the challenges.

"There is no one single answer. Do we need to look at an improved sherpa [bus] service, do we need a tourism tax where hoteliers and caterers come on board and the money is reinvested into the area?

"This partnership approach should go some way to addressing these issues."

Helen Pye, Snowdonia National Park Authority's partnerships manager, said: "People's views and ideas are extremely important to us which is why we're providing this opportunity for people to give their feedback on the draft plan.

"Ensuring input from others is so important so that we can produce the best plan possible for the area, and the plan as a result will evolve and be adapted as appropriate."

The online consultation runs until 7 July.

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