Snowdonia National Park
The Snowdonia National Park was established in 1951 and is the third largest of the 15 National Parks in the Uk. The Park covers 2,132 square km (823 square miles) and stretches from Cardigan Bay’s High Water Mark in the west, to the Conwy Valley in the east and from the River Dyfi and its estuary in the south to the coast of Conwy Bay as far as Conwy in the north. The boundary map shows the extent of the National Park boundary.
The Snowdonia National Park takes its name from Snowdon which, at 1085m (3,560 feet), is the highest peak in Wales and England. In Welsh, Snowdon used to be called Yr Wyddfa Fawr (the Great Tomb or the Great Throne) or Carnedd y Cawr (the Cairn of the Giant). Nowadays it is simply called Yr Wyddfa, but the various names bear testament to a land steeped in legends, history and tradition. This is the ancient Kingdom of Gwynedd, the heart of Wales and the stronghold of ‘Cymraeg’, the Welsh Language. The Welsh name for the National Park is Eryri (The Highland).
Snowdonia is synonymous with extensive areas of windswept uplands and jagged peaks, the “raison d‘être” for its National Park designation. The nine mountain ranges cover approximately 52% of the Park and include many peaks that are over 3000 feet (915m). Apart from the beauty and charm of its high mountains, Snowdonia has inspiring natural and semi-natural habitats. It is a delightfully varied landscape of steep river gorges, waterfalls, passes and green valleys. Remnants of the once common oak, ash, rowan and hazel woodlands are found scattered throughout the Park whilst the beautiful Dyfi, Mawddach and Dwyryd estuaries and 23 miles of coastline and sandy beaches contribute to the overall diversity of habitat forms. This range of habitats is recognised nationally and internationally by the numerous designations ranging from Local Conservation Areas and Sites of Special Scientific Interest to Special Areas of Conservation and the Dyfi Estuary which is a proposed World Biosphere Site.