|IPA Factsheet - Snowdon / Eryi|
Site Description At 1085 meters, the summit of Eryri (Snowdon) is the highest mountain in England and Wales. To the north and west of this high-point, the other 13 summits over 3000 ft form a stunning upland landscape of plateau, cliffs, and screes, bisected by wooded river valleys and lakes. Heaths, alpine cliff and scree habitats predominate, and a unique suite of rare arctic alpine higher and lower plants are present as well as a range of threatened birds and invertebrates. The site has long been protected by its status as a National Park (a planning authority with its own biodiversity remit), and the more recent designations of SAC and SSSI further ensure that any management undertaken is beneficial to biodiversity.
Botanical Significance Eryri (Snowdon) qualifies soundly as an IPA on all three criteria. For Criterion A there are large populations of Luronium natans (Floating Water-plantain) and the endemic Eyebrights Euphrasia cambrica and E. rivularis. The exceptionally rich flora (Criterion B) is shown by hot-spots of threatened vascular species for both inland rock and montane habitats, and also for montane lichen habitats. Finally, Eryriís status as an outstanding example of a habitat type of global or European plant importance comes from its designation as a SAC for its calcareous rocky slopes, alpine and boreal grasslands, montane to snow level scree, tall herb fringe communities and its oligotrophic to mesotrophic lakes.
General Habitat Description Calcareous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation; Drepanocladus vernicosus (Hamatocaulis), Hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities of plains and of the montane to alpine levels; Oligotrophic to mesotrophic standing waters with vegetation of the Littorelletea uniflorae and/or of the IsoŽto-Nanojuncetea; Siliceous alpine and boreal grasslands; Siliceous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation; Siliceous scree of the montane to snow levels (Androsacetalia alpinae and Galeopsietalia ladani)
Conservation Issues Overgrazing and diffuse eutrophication are regarded as the prime threats to the IPA. Grazing pressures have been reduced at some key sites within the IPA (e.g. Cwm Idwal) and it is hoped that the result of this will encourage further reductions. Small-scale hydroelectricity schemes are a major development threat and are dealt with by the National Park Authority. Invasion of Rhododendron ponticum is a major concern and its control is being dealt with through a partnership approach between the National Park Authority and the National Trust.