A local resident has said he’ll be ‘patrolling’ a Allt Ddu memorial near Llanberis over the bank holiday weekend after reports of campers parking at the site in recent weeks.
Makeshift barbecues have reportedly been abandoned on the site and chemical toilet waste from motorhomes allegedly discharged at the memorial area, created to remember men who worked and died in a Gwynedd slate quarry.
Rocks were placed around the circular site last year to try and prevent parking, but it is claimed those were moved over the Easter holiday, NorthWalesLive reports.
In the past, Gwynedd Council has considered further parking restrictions there but a consultation raised a host of objections.
The local authority is now running a pilot project with a number of aire-style overnight parking sites for motorhomes and campervans in a bid to prevent ‘antisocial camping’.The Allt Ddu spot, giving easy access to Dinorwic quarry, is a popular parking area and on Good Friday local man John Horrigan counted 31 motorhomes and campervans.
“It was absolute hell up there,” he told NorthWalesLive.
Despite this, he said there was parking available if only people had been prepared to walk a little further. “Parking in itself is not an issue,” he said. “Illegal and inappropriate parking is. It’s ridiculous, it really is.
“A converted campervan moved stones to get on. A 4x4 camper didn’t bother and just drove over the stones and emerging spring flowers.
“I don’t understand why people would do this. It’s disgusting. Who in their right mind would do that? Not only is it disrespectful, it’s senseless. They come here to walk, yet can’t be bothered to park a further 50 yards down the road.”
In 2005, a slate monolith commemorating Dinorwic’s quarrymen was erected on a turning circle for local buses.
Two years ago, slate benches were added, each resembling the “Car Cyrn” quarry wagons that were unique to Dinorwic Quarry.
Both have backrests engraved with quotations and original images drawn by quarrymen.The project, a collaboration with Padarn Country Park, was part of Gwynedd’s bid to gain World Heritage status for the Slate Landscapes of north west Wales.
“I saw a note left on one of the vehicles,” said Mr Horrigan.
“I'm not joking, it read, 'No wonder the locals don’t like us'. The owners were politely asked to move.”
Gwynedd Council signs warning against overnight parking have reportedly vanished and pleas by locals for double yellow lines have been rejected.
There is also concern over the lack of toilet and litter facilities at the Allt Ddu parking area.
To help prevent 'indiscriminate parking', Mr Horrigan said he will again be keeping an eye on the memorial site this weekend.
A Gwynedd Council spokesperson said: "Over recent years, we have seen high numbers of people visiting popular spots here in Gwynedd, and we encourage people to plan their visit and activities in advance.
"We ask motorists to respect the parking restrictions and keep the roads clear and safe. Our parking enforcement officers patrol communities across the county and enforce the parking restrictions that are in place.“Following concerns raised in the past regarding parking issues in the Allt Ddu area, the council has consulted on introducing specific parking restrictions at this location.
"But, due to a number of objections raised, we will not be proceeding with restrictions at present.
“However, the council is leading on a pilot project to introduce specific orders that will prevent the right of motorhomes to park overnight in lay-bys in specific locations that have seen examples of irresponsible parking and camping over the past few years.
"We will be monitoring this pilot and considering whether it may be a suitable option in other locations.
“Our message to those visiting Gwynedd in motorhomes and campervans is to ensure that they camp legally and support businesses by using local campsites.
“In addition, as part of efforts to ensure better management of motorhomes and campervans in the area, the council is developing 'Arosfan' sites which will offer an overnight location to motorhomes and campervans similar to 'aires'.
"We expect the first of these sites to be available for this summer and, if successful, we will be considering whether it will be possible to provide further designated sites in the future.”