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'Over 12 million' visit Wales' National Parks annually

by Rob Shelley

Around 12 million people visit Wales' national parks each year, spending around one billion pounds in the process, according to a new report out today.

The 'Valuing Wales' National Parks' report found that 50 of our most visited attractions are in national parks, and concludes they have a huge impact upon the economy and the lives of people in Wales.

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National parks 'an asset' to the nation and economy

Assembly Members from across the parties have expressed their support for the work of the three national park authorities in a 'statement of opinion' being raised at the National Assembly.

This National Assembly commends the work of our three National Park Authorities and recognises their significant contribution to the Welsh economy - estimated to be in the region of £1billion. We further acknowledge that the National Parks of Wales play a pivotal role in the economic development of their respective regions that extends far beyond their physical boundaries. The specialised and consistent approach to the management of these natural assets ensures their protection and sustainability for the enjoyment of both residents and the 12 million annual visitors.

– Assembly Members statement of opinion

This report makes for interesting reading and shows clearly what an asset the national parks are to the nation and our economy. Amongst the many positives that emerge from the report are the 12 million annual visitors - testament indeed to the popularity of the parks and their importance to the communities both within and beyond their boundaries. It is also a credit to the National Parks Authorities who play such an important role in making the visitor experience an enjoyable one.

– John Griffiths AM, Minister for Culture and Sport

When people think of Wales' national parks, i'm sure that many images come to mind reflecting the geographical diversity of their respective landscapes - from the slopes of the Brecon Beacons and beautiful Pembrokeshire coastline to the heights of Snowdonia. But one thing, i'm sure, that we all agree on is that these areas of outstanding beauty symbolise the spirit of Wales - an inspiration for generations of writers, poets and artists.

– Aneurin Phillips, Snowdonia National Park Chief Executive

Wales' national parks attract 12million people a year

Snowdonia National Park is one of the three parks which attract visitors to Wales every year Credit: Neil Squires/Press Association

Around 12 million people visit Wales' national parks each year, spending more than £1billion, according to a new report being launched today.

The 'Valuing Wales' National Parks' report looks at the extent to which the Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire Coast national parks impact upon the Welsh economy and the lives of people in Wales.

The three national parks, including Pembrokeshire Coast, employ more than 30,000 people within their boundaries Credit: Mike Fuhrmann/PA

Commissioned by National Parks Wales, the Welsh Local Government Association and Natural Resources Wales, the report will be officially launched at the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay later today.

More than £1bn is spent in Wales' national parks each year. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Archive

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Snowdonia trails follow footsteps of Wales' princes

by Rob Shelley

A series of trails across Snowdonia are allowing walkers to literally step in the shoes of Wales' princes.

The idea is to extend the season - and attract people beyond the historical tourist traps like Caernarfon and Conwy Castle.

There are also hopes are that people from North Wales might get fit - and learn more about their past in the process.

Video: 'Skinny vet' rescues dog from narrow crevice

A Snowdonia sheepdog has a helpfully skinny vet to thank for its rescue.

A farmer lost his working collie, Chip, whilst bringing his sheep down from Snowdon.

The dog was found stuck in the bottom of a rick crevice in Clogwyn Mawr, which was 25 metres deep and extremely narrow.

As this video from Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team shows, one team member was volunteered as the skinniest and lowered into the crevice, but he became wedged before reaching the dog.

A local vet had better luck, wriggling to within a metre of the dog at the bottom of the crevice, and managing to attach a pole and clip to Chip's collar, as darkness fell.

Both of them were hauled to safety.

The dog seemed unhurt and walked off with the rest of the team on Sunday night.

Climber injured by falling rock in Snowdonia

A climber suffered injuries to his leg in the accident Credit: ITV News

A climber is undergoing surgery after a giant rock fell on him in Snowdonia. The man, in his mid-40s and from the south of England, was standing on the block of rock preparing to lead a climb at Craig Braich Ty Du in the Ogwen Valley this afternoon, when the rock gave way.

The rock crushed his leg and crashed 100 yards down the mountainside on to the A5, which was blocked for a time.

Ogwen Mountain Rescue Team sent 15 rescuers to the scene, but the severity of the man's injuries meant he had to be flown to University Hospital of North Staffordshire by an RAF Valley Sea King.

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