Snowdonia is perhaps most well-known for Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, reaching a height of 3,560 feet. But its staggering height isn’t the only reason why it’s the 3rd most visited attraction in Wales. It has a rich history dating back to the Ordovician period (that’s 500 million years ago!) and is home to several rare flora and fauna.
The rocky faces of Snowdon were created by volcanoes 500 million years ago whilst glacial activity some 20,000 years ago formed the huge U-shaped valleys that are visible today. Clues from Snowdonia’s past can still be seen on the mountains today. For example, fortifications and castles belonging to Vikings, Anglo-Saxons and Normans suggest that it was a place of fierce political rivalry. It is also rumoured that King Arthur made his mark in Snowdonia. The legend states that he killed Rhitta, a fearsome giant who lived on Snowdon that wore a cape made out of the beards of his fallen enemies.
Lastly, it’s no wonder that Snowdonia is one of UK’s 15 sites with National Park status, with a broad spectrum of rare wildlife. In Wales, the rainbow leaf beetle, often called the Snowdon Beetle, is an extremely rare and endangered species found only on the western flanks of Snowdon. The Snowdon Lily is another example of rare flora that, in England, can only be seen on a visit to Snowdonia.
Why not see the history and beauty of Snowdon before your own eyes? Find out more about Snowdonia for Science, a PCRC event in May 2020 raising money for prostate cancer research.