North West Wales

Snowdon: Plans to deliver 'respect' for mountain

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Media captionCome rain or shine, what makes Snowdon so special?

A plan to safeguard the future of Snowdon will help deliver "respect" for the mountain, according to one of the key people behind the proposals.

A public consultation on the draft plan is due to end on Friday, and follows more than two years of work by the Snowdon Partnership group.

The proposals will tackle problems posed by increasing visitor numbers, parking and public transport.

The national park's Helen Pye said it was a once in a generation chance.

The former head warden for Snowdon is now the partnership's manager for the park authority overseeing the process.

It has been her job to bring together more than 50 groups and organisations that make-up the Snowdon Partnership, including Natural Resources Wales, the National Trust, Gwynedd and Conwy councils, the Snowdonia Society and the Farmers' Union of Wales.

"In a nutshell - we want to care for Snowdon for future generations," she explained.

"This plan is all about working with the local community, local businesses, our partners to make sure we can look after Snowdon for the future and make it the best possible mountain it can be."

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Media captionSnowdon plan: The mountain is a "special place to look after", Helen Pye said

Bringing together so many groups - from farmers, to walkers and government officials - "hasn't been an easy process", Ms Pye admitted.

"There was initially quite differing views as to what should happen on Snowdon - what the issues are.

"But what we have found as the process has gone on, is there is also so much common ground and people have really come together to find those common interests. We really want to look after Snowdon."

The focus on the mountain's future follows a catalogue of concerns over issues like litter, demands on mountain rescue volunteers, and the increase in visitor numbers and events.

Snowdon in figures:

Source: Snowdon Partnership draft plan

According to the Snowdon Partnership, the mountain attracts more than 560,000 visitors a year, made up of both walkers and those who take the scenic train journey to the summit.

The economic benefit of visitors to the Snowdonia National Park is estimated to be about £475m every year - with £69m of that coming to the Snowdon area alone.

"At the minute it's seen by many as a visitor attraction. We want people to start thinking of it as a special place to look after," she added.

"That's about respect for the countryside, respect for the wildlife of the area, respect for the communities in the area."

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Image caption Some visitors have left the summit strewn with rubbish

She stressed that the plan is also about getting the basics right too.

"We know that things like parking and transport is a massive issue in the area at the minute," she added.

"For 60 days of the year we are over capacity in terms of car park spacing and stuff like that."

But success for the plan is not just about the visitor experience - it is also about engaging the communities around the base of Snowdon.

"I'd like them saying that we've done a really good job of managing the impact of those visitors - visitors they now see as bringing a real benefit to the area," said Ms Pye.

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