Mountainsafe Partnership, walkers praise safety initiativegrid ref

12/06/2012

SNOWDONIA NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY

Walkers Praise Safety Initiative

A new safety initiative developed by the Mountainsafe Partnership and implemented by the Snowdonia National Park Authority has received widespread praise from mountain users on the social networking site Twitter.

A series of grid-reference points are being trialled on Snowdon as part of a wider campaign to promote mountain safety. Small grid-reference discs are already in place on many of the stiles and gates on Snowdon.

Snowdonia National Park Warden, Gruff Owen, explains the principles behind the measure, “The idea for placing grid references on footpath furniture originally came from local mountain rescue teams. By working closely with recreation groups through the Mountainsafe partnership we’ve developed the idea so that it’s as unobtrusive as possible. The markers are being placed on pre-existing stiles and gates so that temporarily disoriented walkers who’ve brought a map and remember their geography lessons, will easily be able to pinpoint their position. I hope the markers will also serve as a reminder for some to polish up on their map and compass skills.”

Emyr Williams, Director of Land Management at Snowdonia National Park Authority said, “I am very pleased that our new safety initiative is already proving popular with mountain users. As part of our service to the public, it’s vital that we reach out to as many people as possible so that everyone is informed of the measures in place to keep mountain users safe. Such feedback is a testament to the hard work that’s been done to facilitate the provision of safety information to visitors and the wider public , so that everyone can enjoy the spectacular scenery Snowdonia has to offer through safe and responsible means . “ 

This is the latest in a package of measures developed to promote mountain safety in Snowdonia. Earlier in the year the Mountain Info Services Project was launched at the National Park Warden Centre at Pen-y-Pass, aimed at giving mountaineers and hill-walkers access to state-of-the-art information, as well as traditional safety advice. The National Park Warden Service also plays an active role in promoting mountain safety. Along with a visible presence on the mountain, a twitter service was launched which updates users on potential risks and links directly to the Met Office’s weather forecast for Snowdonia.  A set of commissioned designs by illustrator Jac Jones have also been distributed amongst businesses in the National Park to reinforce the safety message.

John Grisdale, Chairman of Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team has welcomed the introduction of the discs. He said, “Although it’s rare for an incident to occur directly next to a stile or a gate, walkers often become disoriented and rescue teams spend hundreds of volunteer man-hours trying to locate people who are lost but unhurt. These discs are a simple idea which will allow disoriented people to locate themselves and could prevent them from having to call us in the first place. They will also promote grass root navigation skills required to travel safely in the mountains.”   

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Note to Editors:

6.      For more information or to arrange an interview, contact SNPA Interim Press Officer Alun Fôn Roberts on +44 (0) 1766 772 238 or alunfon.roberts@eryri-npa.gov.uk.

7.      Twitter users can keep up with the latest ground conditions in Snowdonia by following @safesnowdonia.

8.      The Mountainsafe Partnership consists of Snowdonia National Park Authority, North Wales Police, Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, The British Mountaineering Council, Mountain Training Wales, North Wales Mountain Rescue Association, RAF 22 Squadron and Snowdonia Active.

9.      Photos should be attributed to SNPA.

10.     Snowdonia National Park Wardens were on hand at the Urdd National Eisteddfod in Glynllifon to promote grid reference skills.

Alun Fôn Roberts

Swyddog y Wasg (dros dro) / (Interim) Press Officer

Awdurdod Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri / Snowdonia National Park Authority

a: Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd, LL48 6LF

t: +44 (0) 1766 772 238

e: alunfon.roberts@eryri-npa.gov.uk

w: http://www.eryri-npa.gov.uk/

 

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