An appeal for respect
Snowdonia National Park Authority officers and local landowners are strongly appealing to 4×4 vehicle drivers to stick to specific routes when driving their vehicles in Meirionydd.
Over recent months, old tracks and surrounding lands in the Pennal, Bont Ddu and Pont Scethin areas of South Meirionnydd have been extensively damaged by 4×4 vehicles. As a result, not only has the land’s surface been damaged, countless ditches have been created, and many fragile habitats have been damaged, which could in turn effect Glastir payments for landowners (see below). And, whilst other bodies and vehicle associations such as GLASS (Green Lane Association), Land Access and Recreation Association (LARA) and All Terrain UK are contributing to the repairing of some routes, the cost of improving them is too expensive and their inaccessible location increases the cost.
Peter Rutherford, SNPA Admissions Officer, says: “Local landowners receive payments from the Welsh Government and Europe for managing their land sustainably, conserving and enhancing biodiversity in a cost-effective way. But as routes on their land become increasingly damaged by irresponsible off-roading activities, then their Glastir payments and livelihoods may be affected.
“Whilst we have no objection to people enjoying these areas and exercising their legal rights in their vehicles, we appeal to the drivers to respect the property, livelihood and the rights of others users when doing so. Drivers should not be tempted to drive off piste on any track, especially where more damage can occur.
“We are extremely grateful to user groups and other organisations for raising money and providing labour to repair and improve many of these routes, but the truth of the matter is by now, there is too much work to be done. All we can do is to strongly appeal to drivers to keep to the tracks, for everyone’s benefit and follow the Drivers and Riders Byways Code of Conduct.”
GLASS’ Meirionnydd representative, Matt Henchcliffe added, “GLASS, working in partnership with Snowdonia National Park Authority and Gwynedd Council’s Highways Department, are committed to safe, respectful driving in Snowdonia, ensuring access for all users which will continue for years to come. GLASS advocates the use of a code of conduct when driving on all green lanes. This respectful conduct helps ensure drivers use only the legally designated route, support one way systems placed so the need for maintenance work is minimised, access remains open to all, and closures are not required.”
GLASS is currently appealing for funds to repair and restore routes in Cwm Maethlon. For more information on the appeal, visit www.gofundme.com/4q2tezk