Park Authority

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Mend Our Mountains

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14 March 2016

With the help of the British Mountaineering Council’s campaign, Mend Our Mountains, which begins today, there is hope that an essential section of the Watkin Path leading to the summit of Snowdon, will be repaired at last.

The aim of the “Mend our Mountains” campaign is to raise more than £ 100,000 to repair some of the footpaths on some of Britain's most iconic peaks. In Snowdonia, part of a footpath below the summit of Snowdon needs the support. Due to the thousands of walkers who walk along the footpath every year, together with unstable scree, it is difficult to follow the correct path to the summit. As a result over the years, this piece of footpath has eroded and braided, and habitats have been destroyed. In addition, the substantial work that is needed to clearly re-define the path for walkers, as well as its location, over 1,000 meters above sea level, makes it a difficult task.

On behalf of the National Park Authority, Chief Executive Emyr Williams said,
"Snowdon is one of Britain's most popular mountains and the Watkin Path is historically important as this, strangely enough, was the first footpath to be designated a public footpath in Britain, thus officially opening the countryside for walkers. As a continuation of this, we as a National Park Authority are keen to ensure that walking along footpaths such as the Watkin Path, continues to be an inspiring experience for visitors and residents, and that walkers will return here again and again.
Nevertheless, the 14% reduction in our budget over the last two years means that in future, it will be difficult, if not impossible to carry out elements of our day-to-day work of protecting and improving the landscape. But, together with a contribution from the National Trust as landowners and through our work with the Snowdon Partnership, we will be able to contribute significantly to the cost of repairing this particular part of the Watkin Path. Unfortunately due to the volume of work that is needed, without the additional contribution by the Mend Our Mountains, campaign, it would be almost impossible to carry out the work required on one of Britain's most popular mountains. "

The campaign will run from March 14 until May 14th with the funds raised from crowdfunding being channelled to various projects through the BMC’s Access and Conservation Trust. It is possible to contribute to the Watkin Path only, or to the general campaign.

For more details on how to contribute to the appeal, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/mendourmountains

Notes to Editors

1. Over 15,000 Walkers use the Watkin Path every year
2. This path was named after Sir Edward Watkin, Liberal Member of Parliament and railway entrepreneur who retired to a chalet in Cwm Llan on the foothills of Snowdon.
3. For more details on the Watkin Path, visit the Authority’s website: www.eryri-npa.gov.uk/visiting/walking/mountain-walks/watkin-path.
4. For more details on the BMC’s campaign, contact Tina Gardner (BMC press officer) on 0161 438 3337 / press@thebmc.co.uk or Carey Davies (BMC hill walking officer on 07885 910 605 / carey@thebmc.co.uk
5. To arrange an interview on the Watkin Path, contact Llinos Angharad, Media and Events Officer for Snowdonia National Park Authority on 01766 770274 or 07766 255509.