Walkers 'should pay to climb Snowdon'

Campaigners suggest charge would protect Snowdon for 'future generations'

Walkers 'should pay to climb Snowdon'

Campaigners are suggesting walkers should pay to climb Mount Snowdon amid concerns too many people are visiting.

There have been worries over damage to pathways and littering, and the Farmers' Union of Wales (FUW) suggests a path would protect Wales' highest peak for "future generations", reports the BBC.

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Gwynedd Watkin, FUW Caernarfon county executive, said it was something that needed to be done "in order to protect what we've got".

A spokesman for Ramblers Cymru admitted that the high volume of walkers on Snowdon was "challenging" but suggested there was no legal basis for a charge as Snowdon's pathways are public rights of way and "are already maintain at the public expense".

Speaking to the BBC, Jonathan Cawley, director of planning and land management at the Snowdonia National Park Authority, said other options should be explored to tackle the problem, including education.

He said: "There's no one silver bullet. We spend huge sums on the upkeep of the maintenance of paths on Snowdon, but it's never enough. We do litter picking which is a huge task. There's an education programme that needs to happen."

Mr Cawley suggested voluntary visitor gift schemes have helped at other sites, while Mr Watkin said this would not raise enough money. He suggested something more in line with an official permit, like the one needed to climb Peru's Inca Trail, or a tourism tax would be more beneficial, although admitted it would be hard to police.

Ramblers Cymru said they would be happy with the idea of a voluntary payment scheme and encouraging more people to volunteer to help maintain Snowdon, but were not supportive of an official charge.

According to Mountain Walk, Snowdon is the "friendliest" of the three highest peaks for the novice walker to ascend in the UK.

There are six main routes to the summit, and you can always get the train back down if you're too tired to descend (trains run from mid-May to end of October, but don't run in bad weather).

For more information about climbing Mount Snowdon, visit mountainwalk.co.uk.

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