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Page last updated at 13:31 GMT, Tuesday, 26 October 2010 14:31 UK
Tackling Snowdon's takeaway and dog mess mountain

Volunteers collecting litter on Snowdon
Snowdon's summit complex and train trips are set to close on 31 October

As the Snowdon railway and summit complex close down for the winter, volunteers are preparing to clear away the rubbish left behind by careless visitors.

The Snowdonia Society had so many helpers on a recent clear-up of the mountain's Llanberis Path that they are going to tackle the area around Glaslyn and Y Lliwedd on Saturday, 6 November.

"We had more volunteers than we could cope with last time," said Sarah Medcalf, assistant director of the charity which is arranging the litter collection in conjunction with the British Mountaineering Council.

"Each volunteer collected a whole bin bag full - there's a lot of rubbish up there.

"The problem is that in urban areas, people are used to being cleared up after, and they have the expectation that when they go out into the hills, that will continue to happen."

No one has official responsibility for collecting rubbish on Snowdon, so the job often falls to the national park authority who maintain the footpaths.

However, they don't have adequate resources to clear the rubbish, so the Snowdonia Society step in to help.

It was Stephen Roberts, owner of the Pen Ceunant Tea Rooms on Snowdon who first brought the problem to Sarah's attention.

"The summer months are horrible," said Stephen, who's noticed that takeaway food cartons are the most common litter.

"One of the biggest problems is the Three Peaks Race," he added.

"They'll do Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike. Then, while some are running up Snowdon, one in three of the van drivers who bring them here will clean out their vans right here on the mountain.

"One man genuinely couldn't see what he'd done wrong when I lifted up the litter and gave it back to him.

"I asked how he'd feel if someone put litter in his garden, and he said he'd knock their block off."

Stephen also sees dog walkers as a big problem.

"Who do they think is going to pick up after them?" he asked, having picked up 38 dog poo bags within a mile of his tea rooms one day in July.

"I've been trying to figure out why people do it and can only think they don't care," he said.

"Walkers do take rubbish home with them in their packs. It's some tourists who are ignorant of the mountain, taking up a carrier bag of food and throwing everything away on the way down."

Sarah Medcalf acknowledged that visitors also had a tendency to put rubbish in the bags of stones dropped by helicopters.

"They dropped the bags of stones so they could be used to help repair the paths," she explained. "But the funding ran out and some bags have been there for a while, so people think they can put rubbish in them."

To take part in the litter pick on 6 November contact the Snowdonia Society on 01286 685498.




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