HOLIDAYMAKERS camping on land without permission is blighting some of Wales’ most iconic beauty spots, say authorities.

Campers have been accused of leaving rubbish and even defecating on the sides of roads in Snowdonia National Park.

The end of lockdowns has seen a big increase in fly-camping or camping on land without the owner’s permission.

Capel Curig community councillor, Shan Ashton, called on authorities to take the lead from other countries to make sure infrastructure was in place to cope with the increased visitor numbers.

She said: “There is double the number of camper vans than there is normally. There is no infrastructure for the ones that don’t use campsites. So that causes a big problem in terms of sewage and waste disposal.

“Some of them have been emptying their toilets over walls and some of them have been defecating in woods, even next door to the public toilets. And the litter pickers have to deal with this, it’s a public health hazard.

“There needs to be something like the French Aire system where you can pull in off the motorways or like what they do in New Zealand where they put temporary toilets when they know it’s going to be busy.

“So either they need to control the number of campervans or put the infrastructure in place.”

The National Wales: Picture: Snowdonia National Park AuthorityPicture: Snowdonia National Park Authority

A spokesperson for Snowdonia National Park said: “After the easing of lockdown restrictions last year, we saw a major increase in vehicles such as campervans/motorhomes/vans/cars parking overnight in undesignated areas such as car parks and laybys overnight.

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“This led to other issues such as litter and people defecating in public spaces, these issues cause distress within the local communities and have an impact on the environment.

“So far this season we are facing large numbers again of visitors in campervans and motorhomes. However with the insight of the previous year we have been able to have some measures in place.”

To tackle the problem the park has enacted several measures.

These include employing extra warden in areas that have been identified as hotspots such as Llyn Dinas, Capel Curig, Cadair Idris area and Ogwen.

Authorities have been placing ‘no camping’ signs in national park car parks, however there have been many issues of these being removed or damaged and having to be replaced.

The National Wales: Snowdonia

The park has also been working with Gwynedd Council to place no camping signs in problematic laybys.

The park spokesperson added: “Also a separate issue is people camping in tents on private land without permission of the landowner; not following the wild camping code by camping in large groups, leaving tents, and litter behind, creating noise. This has been a particular issue this season around the Cadair Idris area. This is an issue which is also impacting the local communities and environment.”

A Gwynedd Council spokesperson said: “Gwynedd Council and our partners have been working closely to prepare for the holiday season to keep the people of Gwynedd, and those who choose to visit the county, safe.

“Joint arrangements are in place with North Wales Police and the Snowdonia National Park Authority to respond to parking problems at popular destinations, new road signs installed to alert motor home drivers of the rules and to inform of enforcement arrangements.

“In addition, a convenient system has been set-up at gwynedd.llyw.cymru/parkingenquiries which enables members of the public to submit concerns or complaints about motor homes parking where they shouldn’t.

“Our officers are monitoring various locations and urging motor home users to make use of local regulated parks where they can spend the night.”

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