WALES: Pathways cost trust pounds 88k year.
FOOTPATHS through Snowdonia farmland bought by the National Trust 10 years ago following amajor fundraising appeal are now costing pounds 88,000 a year to maintain.
The Trust is appealing to walkers who enjoy using the paths to put their hands in their pockets and help pay the repair bill.
The organisation had raised over pounds 5m to help buy 4,000 acres of mountain farmland at Hafod y Llan near Beddgelert, including part of Snowdon itself.
The money also helped pay for creating six miles of new paths - but the network is now costing pounds 88,000 each year to keep in good working order.
The Trust's Haf Williams said: "Ten kilometres (six miles) of new footpaths have been created across Snowdonia and many more have been repaired so that everyone can experience this magnificent landscape but there's much more to do.
"We want to continue to improve access and opportunities for people to gain understanding of one of the most beautiful and fragile parts of Wales. We need to repair the miles of dry stone walling, find new uses for old buildings and restore the oak woodlands."
She added: "We need help and support to enable us to care for The National Trust's special places in Snowdonia and to ensure that together we continue to make a difference."
Since buying Hafod y Llan the National Trust has spent money on improving the environment and introduced traditional Welsh Black cattle as part of a conservation grazing regime.
Fewer sheep on the mountain mean that important habitats are now recovering and seeing a dramatic increase in heath land plants, including the Heath Spotted Orchids.
The Trust has also recently started to supply organic mountain lamb and beef directly to customers' doors in reusable cardboard boxes using treated sheep's wool as insulation.
The 'save Snowdon for the nation' appeal had been launched after farmer Richard Williams decided to sell up to the highest bidder a decade ago.
The Daily Post gave its backing and helped spread the message as thousands of people throughout Wales and beyond contributed to the appeal which successfully bought the farm and land after raising the cash in just 100 days.
Welsh movie star Sir Anthony Hopkins gave pounds 1m to the appeal and stars such as Ian Rush and Alarm singer Mike Peters pitched in joining politicians including Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas and Elfyn Llwydc.
For details of fundraising events or further information contact Haf Williams at the National Trust on 01690 713300
Prince Charles at Hafod y Llan, Snowdon