Snowdon is the most visited mountain in Britain. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Snowdon is the most visited mountain in Britain. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

It’s the most popular mountain in Britain and is visited by more than half a million people each year.

Most Anglophones will know it as Snowdon – but get used to calling Wales’s highest peak by its Welsh name: Yr Wyddfa.

That’s one of the goals of a comprehensive plan produced by interested parties to safeguard the mountain which is creaking in parts under the weight of so many booted visitors.

Snowdonia is home to more Welsh-speaking residents than any other part of Wales, and one of the key recommendations of the Snowdon Partnership Plan is a bigger emphasis on the use of the native language, supporting projects that celebrate language and culture and encourage respect for the area.

The plan was unveiled at Pen y Pass, the starting point for more than 173,000 ascents of the 1,085m (3,560ft) peak.

Among other points in the plan are improving infrastructure and buildings for visitors, developing a scheme for donations and promoting the development of the Snowdon Circular, a 42km multi-user trail around the base of the mountain, half of which is currently in place.

The partnership also wants to promote use of the Snowdon Sherpa bus, as many car parks in the area are operating beyond their capacity.

The plan also aims to develop a year-round tourism strategy and increase the number of better paid jobs and improve its young ranger, volunteer and ambassador schemes.

Launching the plan are Adam Daniel, Helen Pye, Rhys Wheldon Roberts, Carwyn ap Myrddin and Hannah Blythyn AM, the Welsh Government’s environment minister

Launching the plan are Adam Daniel, Helen Pye, Rhys Wheldon Roberts, Carwyn ap Myrddin and Hannah Blythyn AM, the Welsh Government’s environment minister

Helen Pye of the Snowdon Partnership said: “Snowdon has a special place in the heart of the nation and people have a strong and passionate view on how to look after it.

“Working closely together, we have balanced the needs of our communities, leisure, farming and conservation, safeguarding and enhancing the mountain for the next generation at the same time. Our hope now is to ensure that the whole of Wales will be able to understand, respect and enjoy Snowdon responsibly, safeguarding its future at the same time.”

Launching the plan, Hannah Blythyn, Minister for the Environment said: “The Snowdon Partnership Plan has brought together experience and expertise, and will help ensure we preserve the enjoyment of Yr Wyddfa for generations to come.

“I congratulate all partners involved and I look forward to working with the Partnership to achieve this vision for Yr Wyddfa by 2030.”

Among information revealed in the plan was the fact that the number of first-time hillwalkers heading up Yr Wyddfa doubled between 2013 and 2015, from 10 per cent to 20 per cent. It said: “The popularity of walking up the mountain continues to increase among the experienced hillwalking and mountain climbing communities as well as those who have never walked up hills before.

“The resulting impacts of this use of the mountain, both positive and negative, also increase.”

Visits to the mountain and surrounding area are calculated to benefit the local economy by £69m a year. Snowdon is the third most popular attraction in Wales, with the Millennium Centre in Cardiff being the most popular and the leisure centre at LC Swansea the second most popular.

Sites such as Pen y Pass are under severe pressure from visitor numbers. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Sites such as Pen y Pass are under severe pressure from visitor numbers. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Members of the Snowdon Partnership include representatives from Snowdonia National Park Authority, National Trust, Snowdonia Society, Gwynedd and Conwy Councils, Beddgelert and Betws y Coed Tourism Associations, Hwb Eryri, Natural Resources Wales, the Northern Local Access Forum, North Wales Outdoor Partnership, Visit Wales and Snowdonia Active as well as farming unions and local mountain rescue teams.

For non-Welsh speaking visitors, the partnership helpfully has given a guide to the mountain’s pronunciation: Uhr-with-va.

The full plan can be seen on the Snowdon Partnerhsip website.

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