LAKES in Snowdonia are being ‘overwhelmed’ by tourists, resulting in illegal parking and abuse of landowners.

A task group has been set up to following a surge in visitors to Llyn Geirionydd and Llyn Crafnant over the summer, causing single tracks to become overused and access routes for emergency vehicles becoming blocked.

A local stakeholders’ roundtable last week was attended by representatives from Snowdonia National Park Authority, Natural Resources Wales and Conwy County Borough Council to come up with “long and sustainable solutions” to the ongoing problems, which are expected to be carried out over the coming months.

Janet Finch-Saunders, MS for Aberconwy, who attended the meeting, said: “It is easy to see why Llyn Geirionydd and Llyn Crafnant continue to be such a draw to visitors. Their beauty is immeasurable and they offer an accessible gateway to a number of active water-based sports and fishing opportunities. But it is a sad fact that these lakes, and the single tracks that facilitate access, currently attract many more tourists than the community can cope with.

“We all wish to see visitors continue to enjoy the tranquillity and amenity of these spectacular lakes, but action must be taken to ensure that activities at the site are considerate and responsible. This means confronting illegitimate parking, the blocking of access for our emergency vehicles, and ending the abuse of landowners when they encounter unacceptable behaviour.”

The lakes are located near Gwydir Forest Park, where patrols were carried out by North Wales Police and NRW in recent months, which police said followed “extraordinary scenes” of anti-social behaviour such as wild camping, littering and fly parking.

NRW launched a revamped Countryside Code in April to respond to issues raised during lockdown, such as an increase in littering and sheep worrying by dogs. It states that visitors need to seek permission from landowners to undertake activities such as freshwater swimming and camping.