The Snowdonia National Park

The park comprises the greater part of the ancient kingdom of Gwynedd and was designated in 1951. Strictly speaking it is neither "national" nor a "park" since less than 25% of the land is owned by public bodies. 
bullet The Mountains of Snowdonia 
bullet Plant Life 
bullet Birds 
bullet Farming, Forestry & Tourism 
bullet Quarries & Mines 
The Mountains of Snowdonia 
Snowdonia is a popular region for the study of geology. As you walk through its valleys and up the ridges you'll see the result of the ice age everywhere. The Snowdon and Glyder massifs are classic examples of ice-age sculpting with a series of high hanging valleys (cwms) on their north east sides separated by sharp ridges. 

Plant Life 
In the high lime-rich cwms are found many rare plants such as holly fern, arctic, purple and tufted saxifrages and the rare Snowdon Lily. But most of the mountains and moorland are covered by acid soils supporting rough grasses and heather. Look out for clubmosses, insectivorous plants such as sundew and butterwort and the frequently seen little yellow tormentil, blue heath milkwort and bog orchids. Pictures of Snowdonia's flora and fauna 

Golden Eagles vanished some 300 years ago but you may very well see buzzards and peregrines. You'll almost definitely spot ravens (listen out for their "Cronk Cronk" and wheatears (spotted by their skimming flight and white rumps) and perhaps choughs and ring ouzles (a sort of blackbird with a white collar) 

Farming, Forestry and Tourism 
These are the region's major industries. Farms in the mountains are small and their owners keep hardy Welsh Mountain sheep that roam the hill pastures in the summer and are brought down the slopes for winter. They usually only have one lamb because of the sparse grazing - except the one in Snowdon car park which lives on sandwiches!. 

Quarries & Mines 
You'll see evidence of slate quarrying all around you. The industry was at its peak in 1900 when the Dinorwig Quarry in Llanberis employed 3,000 men. If you're interested have a look around the slate quarry museum in Llanberis. The largest working quarry in Europe still in operation the other side of the mountain in Bethesda. 

The area's also riddled with copper and lead mines which you should spot as you walk the forests around Betws y Coed. Metal has been extracted from around here since before Roman times. 

You'll also see plenty of chapels in the villages of Snowdonia. The history of the area is irrevocably linked to the Methodist Revival movement. In both industrial and agricultural communities the chapel was the centre of religious, social and educational life - all of course conducted in the Welsh language. 

Copyright 2016 [High Trek Snowdonia]. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 05, 2004
High Trek Snowdonia
Tal y Waen

LL55 3NA
Tel:01286 871232