A couple of weeks ago I became a Snowdonia National Park Gold Ambassador having enrolled for the Snowdonia National Park Ambassador Scheme. This is not a ‘selected’ Ambassadorship but a self-enrolment programme to help widen your knowledge of the National Park and help enrich the visitor experience.
This scheme provides a unique training opportunity to enhance your knowledge of Snowdonia National Park’s Special Qualities and all that makes Eryri exceptional. As an ambassador of this scheme, you will play an important role in enriching the visitor and local experience of Eryri.Llysgennad Cymru
Now “Hold Fire” I can hear you all saying, “You don’t live in Snowdonia or come from there!”
Well, you are half right – OK, 3/4 right! You are correct I do not live in the Snowdonia National Park; I live in the South Downs National Park. You are also (almost) right – I do not come from that region of the country, I am however, a descendant of North Wales.
My Maternal Grand Mother moved from North Wales to Liverpool and then to Brixham, Devon. She met a local fisherman and got married and had my Mother. My Nan wanted to call her Blodwyn Myfanwy but my Devonian Grandfather could not get his tongue around that name, so she became Josephine Ann instead. However, not wanting to lose that Welsh connection I was named after the last Welsh Prince of Wales Owain Glyndwr or Glyn.
However, my love and passion for Snowdonia and North Wales does not begin and end with a name it goes much deeper. Growing up in an outdoors orientated family our weekend playgrounds were the National Parks of Dartmoor, Exmoor, Brecon Beacons and of course Snowdonia. I sometimes think the tent and later the caravan were permanently attached to the family car.
I traversed the Snowdon Horseshoe when I was 12 and when I was 15, I completed the 3000ft Welsh mountains. A large part of my later teens was split between caving in the Mendips/Brecon Beacons and rock climbing in Snowdonia. My love for Snowdonia has lasted throughout my life and to celebrate my 60th Birthday I completed the Welsh Three Peaks.
Like so many other outdoor adventurers we can spend a lifetime exploring the rocks, tops, crags and crannies of a particular region of this Country but in reality, know nothing at all about it! What Wales is doing with this scheme is fantastic and should be taken up by all the other National Parks across the UK.
It was not until I started the training modules of the Ambassador scheme that I realised just how very little I knew about the region that had been my playground for over 50 years. I knew the mountains, the routes, the rock faces but very little, if anything at all, about the history, heritage, culture, and natural environment of the National Park. I could tell you story of Gelert and that was it!
I know for certain that when I return to Snowdonia, I will see it through different eyes. I will have a deeper understanding of the history, heritage, culture, and environment and be in a position to communicate this to the many people I see and engage with on the hills. Whilst I am not in Eryri every weekend, I can still communicate this passion through social media.
If you are interested why not sign up, you will be surprised what you will learn.
The Ambassador Scheme can be achieved online in just a few easy modules. Learn at your own pace, at home or at your place of work. Read each module and then answer a short quiz on the content. Before you know it you will be an Ambassador for Snowdonia National Park.Llysgennad Cymru