A “real honour” is how the first woman to take the helm of the organisation which protects and manages Snowdonia Wales’ largest national park hailed her new role.

Councillor Annwen Hughes was  elected as the first woman to become chair of the Snowdonia National Park Authority during its AGM on Wednesday, June 15.

In an historic day,  the meeting also saw an equal gender balance achieved on the committee with six  new members welcomed.

It was the first time ever there was an equal number of men and women in its make up.

Councillor Hughes is a Gwynedd Councillor for Harlech and Llanbedr and has been an Authority member for five years, and its Vice-Chair for the past two years.

READ MORE: End of an era for Bangor school building heralds new start for Catholic school

Cllr Hughes said “It’s a real honour to be the first woman to take the role of Chair of the Snowdonia National Park Authority.

“National Parks in the UK are living, breathing landscapes and the landowners, communities and culture of the area form a fundamental part of what makes this area so special.

 “I look forward to being able to work to support the Authority in achieving its purposes, and through this help to protect and support the local communities and farmers of Snowdonia”.

She thanked fellow members for appointing her to the ” prestigious position.”

She also thanked Wyn Ellis Jones for his “professional and dedicated leadership” as Chairman over the past two years.

She added “I look forward to leading the Authority for the near future, to protect our special communities and unique landscapes for future generations to enjoy.”

Annwen was born and raised on the family farm in Llnabedr and still farms there with her husband Trevor.

She has two sons, one of which who still farms at home and another who lives and farms in Talsarnau.

READ MORE: Historic eight-day Gwynedd festival to return to Y Felinhelli

 After starting to work for the local government in 1979 with the old Meirionnydd department and after taking a break to raise her family, she resumed and worked as a clerk for the Harlech community council and is now the clerk for Talsarnau, Llanfair, Dyffryn Ardudwy & Talybont.

When she was re-elected to Gwynedd Council in 2017 she was elected to the National Park Authority.

Cllr Edgar Wyn Owen, Gwynedd councillor for Waunfawr, was also elected as Vice-Chair.

The new members are Councillors Louise Hughes, June Jones, Kim Jones and Meryl Roberts from Gwynedd Council and Jo Nuttall and Dilwyn Owain Roberts of Conwy County Borough Council.

They will all serve a five-year term until the next local council elections.

Emyr Williams, Snowdonia National Park Authority’s Chief Executive said:

“I would personally like to thank all six members who recently left the board for their service to the Authority over the last term, their contributions have been invaluable during what has been a tough time for all of us.

“The National Park is a living landscape and the Authority board will face challenges such as how to protect the biodiversity and manage visitors whilst also facing other factors such as climate change and inflation.”

Snowdonia covers a total of 823 square miles and is home to over 26,000 people. The Snowdonia National Park Authority’s work covers a wide range of issues including visitor management, conservation and forestry and planning and development of the area.