Fisherman’s ladders at Rhiw Goch, Conwy removed for public safety
- 19 April 2023
For safety reasons National Trust Cymru have removed the fisherman’s ladders at Rhiw Goch near Dolwyddelan, Conwy.
Following promotion of the site in the press and on social media – there was a rapid increase in visits to the ladders. The sudden popularity of a once little visited site has caused many issues ranging from deterioration of the structures, damage to boundaries, trespassing and dangerous parking along the A470 trunk road.
Trystan Edwards, General Manager, Eryri (Snowdonia), National Trust Cymru said;
“The structures were rusty, rickety, and located high above a river, they were unsafe. We realise that this is part of the appeal for some, but as landowners we have a moral and legal duty to ensure public safety.”
The fisherman’s ladders were metal structures that were attached to the rockface above the Afon Lledr, the original pins holding the walkway were in the gorge for many decades, but there were also unregulated additions and repairs by unknown people over the years.
They were originally installed to make it easier to set up a fish trap in the narrow gorge. However, despite the site having no rights of access, footpaths or public car park, the ladders had become extremely popular in recent years.
Concerns had been raised by the local community about the dangerous parking along the verges of the A470, with visitors walking along narrow edges of the main trunk road as well as trespassing on neighbours properties.
Following a detailed site assessment and having explored options, the conservation charity was unable to make the structures safe to the public in an unregulated environment. The removal of the ladders was the only feasible and sustainable solution, which should also help minimise dangerous parking along the A470.
Trystan added, “We’ve been liaising with the local community and stakeholders as part of this process. It’s important to help ensure our local communities are safe and following discussions with the local community council it was clear the ladders were causing problems.”
Simon Rogers, Countryside Manager, Eryri, National Trust Cymru added;
“Many of our wild places are under strain and simply do not have the infrastructure or capacity to deal with high visitor footfall. We want people to enjoy nature, responsibly. We’d like to encourage visitors to be mindful of their digital footprint and avoid sharing secret wild spots on social media platforms to help keep these places special.”
The structures have been removed by local engineering contractors and are no longer onsite. National Trust Cymru would like to remind people there is no public right of access to the area or parking nearby.