Snowdonia: Mountains of litter left at beauty spot during heatwave
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Thousands of people headed to Llyn Padarn, near Llanberis, to escape the record-breaking heat and many dumped their rubbish rather than bin it or take it home. Hundreds of discarded drink bottles were left lying at the water’s edge by thoughtless visitors.
Picnic tables were left piled high and the car park was littered with cans and food wrappers, North Wales Live reports.
So many people visited the area that a lake pontoon came close to capsizing under the weight of teenage swimmers.
Police patrols have since been stepped up at the site.
Llyn Padarn was always likely to be a popular heatbomb getaway and the crowds seen there matched or even exceeded the worst days of the Covid staycation boom.
Kim Jones, Gwynedd councillor for Llanberis and Nant Peris, spent yesterday morning with volunteers clearing up the rubbish in the lake’s Glyn area. Afterwards, she said she was “terribly disappointed” and warned that Gwynedd Council might remove the pontoon if litter problems persisted.
When the videos were posted online this morning, it prompted a furious reaction. “I can’t believe that folks leave such a mess after enjoying a day out at Llyn Padarn,” said one person.
“Absolutely gutted to see this,” said a Caernarfon woman. “Very easy to put rubbish in a bag, and put it in a bin.”
A heritage railway worked added: “What the hell is wrong with people? I’d be ashamed to leave a mess like that.”
Several locals and visitors spent last night and this morning trying to clear up. Among them were campervan owners who have been picking up litter each evening and filling up black bin bags.
However a number people remarked there are too few bins provided by the local authority and those that are available are not emptied when full. “We still need more bins,” said a person involved in the daily clear-ups. “And maybe a warden or someone from the council or a local volunteer to hand out bin bags – and to educate people about looking after these beautiful places.”
Volunteers from Snowdonia Watersports were also involved in the litter picking with Cllr Kim Jones. Later, she posted photos on Facebook of full bin bags alongside wooden pallets that had also been discarded.
She wrote: “Terribly disappointed to see the area which is so special to us being treated like this. I will be discussing this with Gwynedd Council today and emphasizing that they must introduce controls here as a matter of urgency.
“Days like this spoil everything for those who use the Glyn sensibly for canoeing and swimming. I’m concerned that if this goes ahead, the council may consider taking the pontoon down completely in future. So please please share the message that it has to be used with respect.”
What the hell is wrong with people? I’d be ashamed to leave a mess like that
Railway heritage worker
More visitors are expected in the coming weeks, leaving local people frustrated and angry. Many fear that, ultimately, Gwynedd’s taxpayers will be left footing the bill for the clear-up.
Monday’s littering was extreme but the lakeside suffers similar problems every summer. One person suggested a £10 parking charge to discourage over-tourism and pay for extra bins.
However, not all the visitors were from across the border. “A number of them were from villages or neighbouring villages,” noted one visitor.
For most people, personal responsibility is key. Even if bins are not freely available, or are full, visitors should be taking their litter home with them as a matter of course. “If you carried it there, then carry it home,” was the general theme, accompanied by a number of moch (pig) emojis.
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