Snowdonia

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The largest National Park in England and Wales. Essentially includes all the high ground N of the Dovey, and W of the Conway with the exception of a hole for the industrial landscape of quarries around Blaenau Ffestinog.

The boundary as created is not known to follow any of the true boundaries, and therefore is wholly tentative. The relation can be refined iteratively as more information becomes available (for instance waypointed "Welcome to Snowdonia" signs). I have assumed that creating the boundary so that it will be rendered will encourage editing by those with relevant knowledge.

Assumptions

The boundary has been created on the basis of the following main assumptions.

Reasons for exclusion.

  • Tourist resorts. Larger sea-side tourist towns are excluded: Porthmadoc, Barmouth (including Fairbourne), Towyn.
  • Quarries. Areas with large areas of quarries are excluded: particularly the W end of Nantlle valley, Dinorwic quarries above Llanberis, Penrhyn quarries above Bethesda, and quarries at Penmaenmawr. Currently Corris is included in the boundary, but at some stage this area will be modified. The major area to be exlcuded are the quarry districts of Blaenau Ffestinog, including Cwmorthin.
  • Major Roads. The North Wales Expressway, A55, has been excluded. In many cases this would have made a reasonable start for the northern boundary. Instead this has been pushed back to roughly along the edge of the scarp.
  • Larger Towns/Industrial Villages. Assumed not to be part of the park because of the extra planning burden. Therefore Llanberis, Llanwrst, Bethesda, Conwy, Machenllech, Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestinog have been excluded. Similar places which have been included are: Bala, Dolgellau, and Betws-y-Coed.

Reasons for inclusion.

  • Major mountain group. It is assumed that the summits of the following main mountain groups in N Wales are included in the park boundaries: Carneddau (including Tal-y-Fan), Glyderau, Snowdon range (including Moel Eilo), Mynddedd Mawr, Nantlle Ridge, Moel Hebog, Cnicht, Moel Siabod, the Moelwyns, the Rhinogs, Cader Idris, the Arans, the Arenigs, Rhobell Fawr. The Berwyns are assumed to lie outside the boundary.
  • Other scenic areas. Aberglaslyn, Nant Gwynant, Llyn Tegid (currently only half included), dune National Nature Reserves at and around Harlech, Cwm Pennant.

Questions

Numerous doubts about the likely line occurred whilst entering the tentative boundary. These are the more obvious ones:

  • Trawsfynnydd Nuclear Power Station. Presumably outside the park.
  • Pumped Storage systems. Large engineering undertakings with significant changes to corrie lakes in the heart of the mountains. Assumed to be in the park.
  • The Berwyns. Lie well to the E of the natural line of the park, but are significant summits in unspoilt countryside.
  • Bala. In or out?
  • Conwy Valley. The character of the valley S of Betws-y-Coed is such that it is likely that both sides need the protection of the NP. Furthermore, the hills above on the E around Capel Garmon offer great views on to the main mountains. An alternative is to use the road through Nebo, rather than the Conwy itself.