A recent review by the National Trust, which manages 58,000 acres of Snowdonia’s mountain and farmland, revealed serious footpath erosion to more than two miles of path.
According to the conservation charity, it is vital the increasingly popular paths are restored in order to protect rare wildlife, such as the endangered Snowdon beetle, which is can only be found in Snowdonia in Britain.
Backed by Welsh Hollywood actor Matthew Rhys, park rangers are calling on the public to help them raise £250,000, so that repair work can get underway immediately.
Rhys Thomas, National Trust ranger in Snowdonia, said: “Thousands of people come from all around the world to enjoy Snowdonia’s rugged beauty. But Snowdonia isn’t as tough as it first appears.
“More and more people are coming to enjoy the beautiful scenery in Snowdonia. On Snowdon, Wales’ highest mountain, we’ve seen the number of walkers double since 2007.”
He added: “Delicate upland habitats are being flattened, making it impossible for ring ouzels nesting on the ground along Snowdon’s Watkin Path to find insects to feed their chicks.”
More than four million people visit Snowdonia every year, with 450,000 walking up Snowdon alone.
The Edge of Love actor Matthew Rhys, who was born in Cardiff, said: “I still get swallowed up by the scenery and sounds of Snowdonia. I have a profound love for this place, from the legendary Llyn Dinas lake to the great Snowdon summit across one of the most dramatic valleys in Wales, Nant Gwynant”, he said.
“Seeing the joy these unique wonders bring for so many people, I desperately want to complete this vital repair work so fellow nature enthusiasts can enjoy Snowdonia for generations to come.
“But I know there’s a delicate balance to be struck between man and nature. Preserving that balance inevitably needs resources that allow organisations like National Trust to do such an amazing job in making these areas of outstanding natural beauty more resilient for all to enjoy.”
The £250,000 appeal will enable National Trust rangers and volunteers to repair and create two and a half miles of paths in Snowdonia. On average it costs £180 to build just one metre of footpath.
The appeal, which is the latest in the National Trust’s long-running Snowdonia Appeal, will run until the end of 2017.
To donate visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/snowdonia-appeal or call 034 800 1895