Pre-booking will be in force for Pen-y-Pass car park. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Pre-booking will be in force for Pen-y-pass car park. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Authorities in Snowdonia are urging visitors to plan ahead as they anticipate an influx of people over the bank holiday weekend.

The easing of lockdown restrictions and the continuing problems of holidaying abroad are likely to lead to an increased number of people coming to the national park.

Snowdonia National Park Authority said it has worked with other organisations in the area to tackle parking, litter and unlawful camping. It said it wants visitors to have a positive and safe experience while protecting the landscape and wildlife of north-west Wales.

An authority spokesperson said: “Easing of restrictions during 2020 gave us an insight to probable scenarios that might arise again in 2021 with three major issues needing to be addressed.

“We, and other green spaces across the UK, are anticipating a significantly high volume of visitors to the area over the Bank Holiday weekend – people have been in lockdown for a long time and are understandably eager to get out and enjoy some fresh air and open space again.

“However, an increase in visitors will inevitably mean more cars, more litter and more unlawful ‘fly’ camping with authorities urging the public to respect the arrangements to avoid the need for enforcement action. Such demands also place a strain on our resources and our communities but by working together we aim to minimise any potential negative effects whilst maximising the positive ones.”

Emyr Williams, the authority’s chief executive, said: “Given that our most popular car parks are full before 6.30am during the high season, by working in partnership with other authorities we can provide a suitable infrastructure for the season.

The Ogwen Valley is another honeypot area. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Ogwen Valley is another honeypot area. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

“This will be provided through additional shuttle bus services in the Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) and Ogwen areas, temporary and permanent signage, pre-booking at Pen-y-pass and a strong messaging campaign to encourage people to come during quieter times of the week and year to help spread the load.

“We need to remember that Snowdonia is a protected area where people live and work and we also recognise the countless hours the dedicated hard-working team of volunteers give to the area and appreciate their hard work and generosity.

“Over the Bank Holiday the SNPA and Snowdonia Society volunteers will again be picking up litter and providing support to help visitors make the best choices so that they can have the best time here.”

Police warned that illegally parked vehicles may be towed away. Superintendent Neil Thomas of North Wales Police said: “We continue to work closely with our colleagues across the local authorities and the national park to help reduce the risk to walkers, cyclists and other road users.

“When restrictions were lifted last year, we unfortunately saw dangerous, irresponsible and illegal parking which posed a risk to public safety in many of our beauty spots, including Ogwen and Pen-y-pass.

“We appreciate that many people want to enjoy the bank holiday weekend and the predicted good weather. However, it is essential that travelling to these areas does not adversely impact on others. So we are once again urging anybody who is considering visiting areas such as Snowdonia to be responsible and think about where they park, and to make full use of the park-and-ride facilities that are available.

“Anybody found to be parking on the clearway or causing an obstruction will have their vehicle removed at their own expense. Patrols will continue throughout the bank holiday weekend and we’ll continue to work with our partners to ensure the rules are being followed.”

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