A NEW £4million scheme dedicated to protecting and celebrating the cultural and natural heritage of the Carneddau area has launched.

With the help of £1.7million grant funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Carneddau Landscape Partnership – a collection of organisations led by the Snowdonia National Park Authority - have developed an exciting scheme that will promote a positive future for the area.

The area is home to rare animals and plants, including species such as the chough and the Carneddau ponies, as well as fragile habitats such as montane heath – Wales’ tundra.

There is also evidence of human activity dating back thousands of years, and these remains are of international importance.

The unique landscape of the area is under pressure from climate change, shifts in land-use patterns, invasive species and human pressures.

Dr Marian Pye, manager of the Carneddau Landscape Partnership Scheme, said: "Lockdown has brought into sharp focus the importance of the landscape on our doorstep. The Carneddau Landscape Partnership is a collection of organisations passionate about improving understanding and management of this treasured landscape.

"There is no doubt that the scheme is launching at a challenging time.

"As a partnership we will look at new ways of working to ensure that we can all enjoy the special qualities of the Carneddau."

The scheme will help conserve the area’s heritage by promoting sustainable land use that protects rare habitats, species and archaeological remains, and by recording place names and memories.

Dr Prysor Williams, of Bangor University, who is partnership chair, said: "The launch of the Carneddau Landscape Partnership comes at a critical time for the area’s rural communities.

"The scheme will offer exciting opportunities to co-operate on sustainable land management while at the same time celebrating traditional practices. The Partnership will work to ensure that the culture, stories and place names of the Carneddau are handed over to the next generation."

Andrew White, director of the National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales, said: "Nature is our oldest form of heritage and it’s a pleasure for the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support the Carneddau Landscape Partnership.

"As one of the leading funders of the heritage sector in Wales, we welcome and support the partnership’s vision of conserving the threatened heritage of the Carneddau for the future and helping as broad an audience as possible to discover, record, conserve and celebrate the Carneddau."

Ieuan Wyn, poet, said: "The Carneddau Landscape Partnership Scheme is an opportunity for us to protect and contribute to strengthening Welsh life, promote the conservation of the natural environment, and further enrich the legacy to be passed on to future generations."