Over the summer of 2020, with lockdowns having confined many people to home, there was a valid worry that when the travel restrictions were relaxed at the end of summer, Snowdonia would see a major influx of visitors keen to get out and enjoy the weather further afield than within walking distance of home. The encouragement to have some daily exercise gave countless people a greater appreciation of walking and the outdoors in general, and of course foreign travel was off the cards. A plan was quickly put together.
In July and August of 2020, Cymdeithas Eryri led an ambitious partnership project, which saw volunteers out patrolling some of the busiest areas of Snowdonia for three-day weekends over eight weeks. They worked in partnership with the National Park Authority, the Outdoor Partnership and the National Trust, also creating an advertising campaign, with the key messages to visitors and would-be visitors to please ‘be safe, tread lightly and be kind’, combined with simple informative messaging such as ‘there are no bins on Snowdon’.
54 volunteers in total were out over 23 days and collected a staggering 546 full bags of litter from pathsides and roadsides during this project. This was almost entirely in addition to litter that the excellent Snowdon Volunteer Wardens gathered from Snowdon itself.
In 2021, we went bigger; much bigger. The Welsh Government helped to scale up this work. Branded as Caru Eryri / Care for Snowdonia, the project extended from Easter weekend to the end of September, with volunteers out for 5 days a week. Around 90 people volunteered their time over 8 areas. These included Llanberis, Llyn Tegid, the Ogwen valley, Nant Gwynant, Snowdon, Cader Idris, Rhyd Ddu and Llyn Dinas. You may yourselves have spotted our lovely volunteers in orange high-visibility jackets wielding litter-pickers!
This film was created to showcase the scheme, to raise awareness and attract new volunteers.