Instagram is killing “beautiful places” in Wales including Gwynedd’s Gaewern Slate Mine according to a Welsh caver.

The Gaewern Slate Mine is located in Corris Uchaf, Gwynedd, and dates back to around 1820.

Upon its closure in the 1960s/70s people leaving the site dumped everything from old washing machines and televisions to old cars down one of the mine’s two main chambers over a lake.

This scrap has remained in place to this day.

It is this unusual sight that has attracted Instagrammers from across the UK, hoping to capture the perfect snap of the "bizarre" mine.

Instagram a “killer” of “beautiful places” in Wales

Caver Anthony Taylor, from Aberystwyth in Ceredigion, speaking to the BBC, said the site had grown in interest since a YouTube video about it was viewed more than six million times recently.

Since then pictures of the Gaewern Slate Mine have begun popping up all over Instagram.

He said it was these people that were leaving behind rubbish and graffiti and ruining the place.

Mr Taylor, speaking to the BBC, said: "They are beautiful places, and a lot of people don't want them to be ruined.

"Instagram seems to be the killer of a lot of things. People turn up, take a picture and then leave [a mess]."

Describing the slate mine experience he continued: "It's a bizarre environment, probably the one of the oddest places in the world.

"How often do you see hundreds of cars underground with lights coming onto them from the sun?"

But litter, graffiti and even human faeces are beginning to ruin the unique experience. 

It starts with discarded bin bags by the entrance, followed by graffiti. 

As you enter the main chamber towards the cars, Mr Taylor said the graffiti gets worse and there is more rubbish including glow sticks and human faeces.

He said: "When you get to the end, it was just a sea of boats, inflatable dinghies everywhere."

"It's just disgusting, really sad and disheartening.

"The whole reason people want to visit a place like this is because they've seen it on the internet and think, 'That's an amazing place to go and see', so why would you trash it?"

Mr Taylor and a group of fellow cavers held a big clean up in the mine back on March 22. 


He said: "Something had to be done.

"The people that go to these places, influencers they call themselves… they go because they've got inherent value to them. Why destroy it for everyone else?"

Mr Taylor said he wants to educate people about the value of old mines and sites like Gaewern which he added if not treated correctly could be lost forever.