Fund-raising triumph saves Snowdon for the nation

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A MULTI-MILLION pound appeal to buy more than 4,000 acres of the southern flank of Snowdon has topped its target, it was announced yesterday.

With just 10 days to go before the deadline, the National Trust said the amount pledged in donations had reached pounds 4.16m. The announcement was made by the Oscar-winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins, president of the National Trust Snowdonia Appeal. Sir Anthony, who kick-started the appeal with a pounds 1m donation, said: "It means Snowdon can be saved in perpetuity for the nation." But he warned: We still need to care for this magnificent environment so please continue to support the Snowdonia Appeal."

Laurie Gardner, the National Trust fund-raiser responsible for co-ordinating the appeal, said he estimated more than 250,000 people had contributed.

The appeal was launched in August after the National Trust reached an agreement with current landowner Richard Williams to buy the Hafod- y-Llan and Gelli Iago estates. The land includes one-third of the summit of Snowdon, Wales's highest peak. Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, vice-president of the Snowdonia Appeal said: "This campaign has shown how important Snowdon is to so many people. The people of Wales and elsewhere have demonstrated their determination that this symbol of Wales will be protected for future generations and that the balance between agriculture, access and conservation will be maintained for ever."

Peter Broomhead, National Trust director for Wales, said: "This splendid result is due to the generosity of a wide range of donors and very special thanks and credit is also due to all those volunteers who have worked so tirelessly for the success of the campaign by organising their own events and collections. This achievement belongs to them.

"We can now complete the purchase and then continue the task of conserving the land."

Major donors include the Chris Brasher Trust which pledged its year's income to the Save Snowdon appeal, guaranteeing at least pounds 200,000.

Other substantial donations from the generating company First Hydro, the National Grid and a sponsored "Run for Snowdon" ensured that the National Trust reached its target.