May 23rd, 2017
Here at the Oakeley Arms we are proud to live and work in the majestic Snowdonia National Park. The region’s breath-taking beauty attracts visitors from all over the world – annually, some 6 million people come and visit us here every year, with over half a million of those aiming high and reaching the top of Wales’ tallest mountain – Snowdon.
Whilst all these visitors are very welcome (we love to share!) and indeed are crucial to the local economy, high visitor numbers do have an impact on the natural environment. Footpaths are worn, car parks are busy, facilities like public toilets and bus services are often over used and under-funded.
Snowdonia is in danger of becoming a victim of its own success – its stunning natural beauty and the fact it has so much to offer for visitors across the UK, and indeed the world, means that visitor numbers are increasing every year. While this is a great thing, it also means that resources – both natural ones and man-made ones are stretched to breaking point.
So, in a bid to give a little back to the beautiful Snowdonia, here at the Oakeley Arms we’ve signed up to an exciting new project called Snowdonia Giving. It’s a simple but brilliant, idea – local businesses pledge to collect money through their guests and customers who all come to enjoy Snowdonia. Businesses collect money, for example through their booking systems where customers will usually be asked if they’d like to make a small donation (the opportunity to donate is offered at the end of the booking as a ‘bookings extra’ and is not subject to vat or tax). The donation is always a voluntary contribution and is ‘freely given’ by customers who want to support a vital part of keeping Snowdonia beautiful for generations to come.
But just what happens to the generous donations that visitors make? Well, Snowdonia Giving currently has three different projects, each aimed at negating the threats and damaging impact that huge visitor numbers can have on the natural and cultural environment, and to ensure that Snowdonia National Park is a wonderful place to visit for centuries to come.
The projects include:
- Repairing and maintaining the dozens of miles of footpaths up and around Mount Snowdon. Although crucial work is already carried out by The National Park Authority, The Snowdonia Society and groups of dedicated volunteers, however, this is not an easy job and with the huge increase in numbers over recent years, there is a significant shortfall that needs to be addressed. The financial shortfall is about £150,000 per year, which means Snowdon’s footpaths are under threat.
- Improving the Lowland paths around the mountain – an exciting and ambitious project to improve and connect up existing pathways, existing bridleways and forestry tracks with new ones, so that a complete circular route around Snowdon is created. This will improve accessibility and connect up car parks, campsites, villages and other amenities to provide a unique circular Snowdon experience for walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders. An experience, which is safer too – the pathways will mean less people walking along roads, so improving safety for everyone.
- Working with with young people to educate them about the countryside and traditional skills by providing practical opportunities and experiences with local experts. This part of the project highlights the importance of the role of education and working with local communities to support, protect and conserve this magical landscape.
Here at the Oakeley Arms we’re proud to be part of the Snowdonia Giving project. You can find out more about the project and how to donate at www.snowdoniagiving.wales
**100% of all donations go to supporting the projects.