Park Authority

Filming at Hafod Eryri

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Appeal for Volunteers

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5 June 2015

As it’s the end of Volunteers Week this week, it is a great opportunity to celebrate the incredible contribution volunteers make to the work of the National Park... and to appeal for more!

Japanese Knotweed can usually be seen on river banks, road verges and railway embankments. It is classed as an invasive plant, which threatens biodiversity and can cause extensive damage to roads, houses and other infrastructures. There is no way at present to measure the size of the problem in the National Park, and in order to be able to manage it we need to know how much of it is in the Park; its locations and density. One of the latest projects that Authority staff have undertaken is to develop a smartphone app, which will allow volunteers to contribute to surveys on the presence of Japanese Knotweed.

Carwyn ap Myrddin, the Authority’s Farm Conservation Officer explains further,

"A European project called COBWEB (cobwebproject.eu) has already started on the development of the app but we've now reached the point where it needs to be piloted. We have therefore organised two events which will help us to see if it works! On July 7th and 8th we will be piloting the app around the Conwy River basin starting in Betws y Coed and then on the 25th and 26th August, starting around the Mawddach basin in the Dolgellau area.

In addition to the app, a page on the Authority's website is being developed where people can also provide information about the location of invasive species and it is hoped that it will be ready by August. In the meantime however, we need to carry out the work required to pilot the app. COBWEB will be supplying  15 mobile phones and tablets to use for this experimental work, so it would be good to get volunteers on board to use it! "

If it wasn’t for volunteers, a fair amount of the National Park’s work would not be completed.

  • At Bryn Hafod Woodland in Llanbedr, local volunteers have been helping to clear old trees and overgrowth
  • In Dolgellau, children from Tŷ Meirion Ysgol y Gader have been planting trees
  • Pupils from Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle and members of the Snowdonia Society have been helping to replace rhododendron ponticum with new trees in Beddgelert.
  • At the Signal Box in Penmaenpool, volunteers are available to provide information and advice to visitors regarding the biodiversity of the surrounding area
  • On Snowdon, volunteers help to clear rubbish and educate visitors about the mountain and its environment.
  • At Plas Tan y Bwlch, volunteers from GISDA have been helping to plant trees.
  • Students from Llysfasi and Glynllifon Collegeshave been volunteering with the Authority in eradicating rhododendron ponticum and replacing them with new trees.

However, the Authority would like to work with more people. Therefore, if anyone is interested in volunteering with piloting the new app in Betws y Coed later this month, contact Carwyn ap Myrddin on 01766 770274 or Carwyn.apMyrddin@eryri-npa.gov.uk.

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Notes to Editors

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