The group will consider the use of a Welsh only name for the nation's highest peak. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The group will consider the use of a Welsh only name for the nation's highest peak. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

National park bosses in Snowdonia said a working group will determine the use of place names, after it received a petition only to use the Welsh name for the nation’s highest mountain.

The move was debated at the authority’s April meeting.

A petition presented by Elfed Wyn ap Elwyn, and signed by more than 5,000 people from across the world, urged the national park authority only to use its native name, Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri, and to stop using the name Snowdon for the highest peak in Wales, in preference for Yr Wyddfa.

The plea received widespread public and media attention. The authority said it evoked strong feelings and different perspectives.

“The authority members decided there was no need to consider the motion as a Welsh place names task and finish group has already been appointed following earlier considerations that recommended establishing and adopting guidelines on the use of place names by the national park authority,” it said.

“Once the summer is over the task and finish group will develop a policy framework to enable the SNPA to protect and standardise the use of place names in the Snowdonia national park by the authority.

“They will also raise awareness within different local and international audiences of the importance of place names in Eryri and as a source which strengthens connections with the environment, history and heritage of the area.

Elfed Wyn ap Elfyn, of Cymdeithas yr Iaith [The Welsh Language Society] said: “Attacks on the Welsh language is something consistent. This is seen when house names and names for different areas of Wales are changed from Welsh.

“I, and many others think that only using the names Eryri and Yr Wyddfa would be a positive step towards showing the importance of the Welsh language.”

Wyn Ellis Jones, Snowdonia National Park Authority’s chairman, said: “The national park authority is committed to protect and promote the use of native place names for everyday use and for future generations.

“One of the aims of the task and finish group will be to note how success on the use of these place names are measured. The vibrancy of the Welsh language is one of Eryri’s special qualities and we are passionate about respecting and protecting our communities, our language and our culture.”

The name Snowdon comes from Old English, meaning snow hill, whereas the native name Yr Wyddfa, means burial mound. There is debate over the name Eryri, which has latterly tended towards the meaning highlands, rather than the previously believed land of eagles.

Snowdon, at 1,085m (3,560ft), is the highest peak in Wales and England, and one of the most visited.

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