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Snowdonia Chloe Graham

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Snowdonia Chloe Graham. Where is it?. Features and landscapes. Traditional industry and uses/ History.

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Chloe Graham


Traditional industry and uses/ History

  • In the 19th century, copper, zinc, lead and slate were all mined. Quarry men worked away the whole of the mountain sides. Wales is has a lot of minerals and since the bronze ages it has been exploited for these.For these quarries to fully succeed there needed to be good transport links. This is why Snowdon has a railway. It made it easier to take the products to port.
  • Early travellers to the area were botanists such as Thomas Johnston.
  • Thomas Pennant popularized the area with his three volumed work on "Tours of Wales" written in 1778.
  • In the early 17th century Capel Curig was renowned for its harp making.The old Turnpike road or Capel Curig Trust Road (now the A5) used gates and tollbars. Thomas Telford undertook the work of building a new and better road and work began in the Autumn of 1815.
  • Nant y Benglog congregational chapel in the Ogwen Valley was opened in 1853 and is one of the smallest congregational chapels in Wales and continues to have regular services.
  • Today the population of Capel Curig extends to just over two hundred. Tourism and Agriculture are the main sources of employment - each complementing the other

Tourist facts and figures

  • There are about 8 million day visits to Snowdonia every year. 
  • 91% of visitors arrive in Snowdonia in their cars.
  • The graph below show the areas from which visitors travel to Snowdonia
  • Tourism in Snowdonia was valued at £177.2m in 2000 and £196.9m in 1999.
  • A day visitor spends £22 here on average, and those who stay overnight spend £25 on accommodation and £44 on food and entertainment.
  • In a tourism survey in Gwynedd in 2000, the main reasons for travelling to this area were the views (39%), the peace and quiet (28%), beaches (20%), mountains (25%), Snowdonia National Park (24%) and the fact that it is so easy to get to the area (20%).
  • The majority of the visitors visit North Snowdonia, with 62% of day visitors visiting Betws y Coed and 41% visiting the Ogwen Valley.  This adds increased pressure on public footpaths in Snowdonia. 

Attractions for tourists

Things to do-

  • Bird watching-The rich diversity of habitats in Snowdonia attracts many species of bird to the area.
  • Walking-Snowdonia has been renowned for walking since Victorian times. Since then the main mountains of Snowdonia have been well trodden.
  • Climbing-Snowdonia has some of the best and most varied rock climbing in the world, with a history dating back to the late nineteenth century.
  • Mountain biking
  • Snowdon mountain railway
  • Slate museum
  • Welsh Highland railway.
  • King Arthur’s Labyrinth
  • Harlech Castle
  • Padarn Country Park

Pressures and conflicts for the park

  • The majority of the visitors visit North Snowdonia, with 62% of day visitors visiting Betws y Coed and 41% visiting the Ogwen Valley.  This adds increased pressure on public footpaths in Snowdonia. 
  • Litter is a common problem, not only in villages, but on the mountains too.  This can be dangerous to wild animals, and affects the beauty of the area.
  • On the main routes, constant feet on the paths deepens and widens the footpath. This leads to less grazing land for animals and scars the landscape. SNPA in partnership with the National Trust and Countryside Council for Wales are working to improve the footpaths on these high grounds.

Sustainable development management strategies

Sustainable Energy-

With glaciated valleys, steep sides and hanging valleys above them, a lot of energy from water is produced. A very environmentally friendly way of producing energy. Rain water is piped and runs a turbine, then allowed to continue down the stream. This is what happens at Cwm Dvli at the foot of Snowdon. The power stations can produce enough energy for the whole of the United Kingdom in 16 seconds. Two lakes are used: Marchllyn Mawr is the upper lake at a height of  630m and Llyn Peris is the lowest at a height of 500m. Water flows through the middle of the mountain – Moel Eilio turning the turbines on its way. When electricity is cheap at night, the water is then pumped back into the upper lake.


Facts and figures

  • Snowdon stands 1,085 metres (3,560 feet) high.
  • Each year 350,000 people reach the summit, some on foot and some by train. 
  • The summit has 200 inches(508 cm) of rain per year, and can reach temparatures of 30 centigrade in high summer, and plummet to - 20 centigrade in the winter.
  •  Winds of up to 150 mph
  • The summit buildings at the top can by covered by ice and snow between November and April.
  • The Railway was built at the end of the 19th Century, first opening to passengers on 6th April 1896.
  • The trains may be either steam or diesel worked, there being 5 operational steam locomotives, 4 diesel locomotives and a 3-car diesel-electric railcar set on the line.
  • Many types of rock are to be seen there –sedimentary mudstone and igneous/volcanic rock.