Why Snowdonia needs your help

Tryfan, the Glyder Fach & Y Garn Carneddau, Snowdonia, Wales

Enjoying the great outdoors is one of life's amazing pleasures and the work we do to preserve and restore the special outdoor places in our care ensures they are looked after for generations to come.

With 838-square-miles of mountainous landscapes, Snowdonia stands strong among idyllic Welsh countryside. It’s an incredible national treasure that leaves thousands of people from around the world in awe every year. We look after almost 58,000 acres of mountain and farmland in the area.

But the reality is Snowdonia isn’t as tough as it appears.

That’s why we're launching an urgent nationwide appeal to raise £250,000 to repair the paths and protect precious wildlife habitats in Snowdonia.

A National Trust ranger working on one of the many paths that need repairing in Snowdonia
A National Trust ranger repairing a path in Snowdonia, Wales

We’ve recently carried out an extensive review of the paths and there are over two and a half miles that urgently need attention – these critical areas are now our main priority. With your support we’ll be able to get to work immediately, restoring much-needed paths for future visitors and the precious nature that exists here.

With multiple areas of path currently reduced to nothing more than wet, slippery bogs the situation in Snowdonia is critical. Our mission is to make sure walkers and visitors can continue to explore Snowdonia in the way they always have done. 

Rhys Thomas, National Trust Ranger for Snowdonia, said: ‘Eroded paths are threatening Snowdonia’s fragile nature. If we don’t act now, it could be lost forever.

‘I’ve been building and rebuilding paths in the area for eight years. It’s tiring, time-consuming and back-breaking work – involving hundreds of hours of volunteer time which requires shifting tonnes of stone by hand, vehicle and helicopter'. 

" We're asking all those who admire and enjoy the beauty of Snowdonia to help us repair the paths that will keep Snowdonia looking spectacular for many years to come."
- Rhys Thomas, Snowdonia Ranger

‘But it’s vital if we want to protect the delicate upland habitats that make Snowdonia a special place for wildlife.

‘If there’s no path or it’s in poor condition, walkers inevitably stray onto the heather and vegetation. Then you’re left with bare patches of ground and that’s when the thuggish grasses start to move in – eventually strangling out the more delicate plants such as purple saxifrage, moss campion and roseroot.

‘We are asking all those who admire and enjoy the beauty of Snowdonia to help us repair the paths that will keep Snowdonia looking spectacular for many years to come.’

The £250,000 will enable National Trust rangers and volunteers to:

  • Repair and upgrade two and a half miles of paths in Snowdonia (on average it costs £180 to build just one metre of footpath)
  • Protect Snowdonia’s delicate wildlife, such as the endangered Snowdon beetle, which thrive in upland heath.

The appeal is supported by Snowdonia ambassador and actor Matthew Rhys.

The Americans and Edge of Love star, who hails from Cardiff but who has strong family connections to the area, said: ‘I still get swallowed up by the scenery and sounds of Snowdonia. From the legendary Llyn Dinas lake to the great Snowdon summit across one of the most dramatic valleys in Wales, Nant Gwynant, I have a profound love for this place.

‘I have been involved with the National Trust's previous appeals in the area, such as for the acquisition of Llyndy Isaf for the nation and the introduction of the Llyndy scholarship.'

" Seeing the joy these unique wonders bring for so many people, I desperately want to complete this vital repair work so fellow nature enthusiasts can enjoy Snowdonia for generations to come."
- Matthew Rhys, Snowdonia ambassador and actor

‘Seeing the joy these unique wonders bring for so many people, I desperately want to complete this vital repair work so fellow nature enthusiasts can enjoy Snowdonia for generations to come.

'I know there’s a delicate balance to be struck between man and nature. Preserving that balance inevitably needs resources that allow organisations like the National Trust to do such an amazing job in making these areas of outstanding natural beauty more resilient for all to enjoy.’

Walkers admire the view across Llyn Ogwen to the Cwm Idwal Valley. Carneddau and Glyderau, Gwynedd, Snowdonia
 Walkers admire the view across Llyn Ogwen to the Cwm Idwal Valley. Carneddau and Glyderau, Gwynedd, Snowdonia, Wales

The area is home to rare and uncommon species like the Snowdon Lily, Ring Ouzel and the Snowdon beetle.

With the support of people, like you, who care deeply about this unique and irreplaceable part of the world we can get the job done, stone by stone, path by path. Will you help us restore the paths to protect the unique natural world that lives upon this momentous landscape from further damage?