Explore the beauty of the North Wales coast from the comfort of your mobile phone
The ongoing lockdown needn’t be a barrier to enjoying the beauty of the north Wales coast and Cardigan Bay – thanks to the virtues of modern technology.
This is thanks to members of Gwynedd Council’s coastal path team, who spent several months capturing over 120 miles of the county’s paths using a Google Street View Trekker.
Filmed last year by carrying a 24kg rucksack on their backs, the images can now be viewed online via Google maps.
Rhys Roberts, Gwynedd`s Coast Path officer, said: “We worked with Google to make use of their device to capture what you can see from the coastal path in Gwynedd.
“This device was a 24kg ruck sack with a camera to capture the images – it was quite the experience. Some described us as looking like an alien whilst out walking the route with the device!
“Once the data was collected it was then sent back to the company to publish on Google Maps.
“The team only went out to take the images when the weather was nice and sunny, and we were very fortunate back in September 2019 that we had a good spell of great weather – we quickly got used to the weight of the device, and all three of us in the coast path team did a section at the time.
“We are very pleased with the results and the images shows the coastline in all its glory. Of course, at the moment the images online allow people to plan the routes they’d like to walk when things get back more to normal.
“In the meantime, we urge people to follow the rules and to exercise from home – there will be plenty of time to go and enjoy the coastal path when the Coronavirus is under control.”
The images themselves are easy to access by launching Google maps online, zooming into a particular area, dragging the little yellow peg-man symbol and dropping it onto the map.
This will then open up the 360 view so that you can then navigate your way around moving in any direction along the path.
Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Gareth Griffith, added: “The coastal path makes a major contribution to the economy, and we hope that this exciting new online tool will be used to further promote the area once we return to normal.
“As a council, we have been pleased to work with Google on capturing the images to showcase our stunning coastline and hope that this work will attract a new audience to the path in due course.
“But for now, under the Coronavirus regulations, people can use these images wisely to plan their journeys in future and to enjoy the magnificent views from home.”
Councillor Angela Russell, Gwynedd Council Countryside Champion added: “It’s fantastic that the latest technology enables people to observe and appreciate the rich variety of environment around Gwynedd’s coastline.
“Thanks to this latest development, you can wander through heathland, sand-dunes and natural woodlands from your own home.
“Llŷn in particular is a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, and people near and far can now enjoy its natural environment online as if you were there in person on Google Maps.”
Rhys and Gwynedd’s Coastal path team will feature on a new television programme – Wonders of the Coast Path which is airing every Monday on ITV Wales at 8.30pm before airing on UK-wide TV from July 2020.
The series will provide some much needed wanderlust at home, exploring the unique wildlife, dramatic landscapes and vibrant communities along the coast path.
The Llŷn Peninsula episode will be shown on May 4, with Rhys showing the device to presenter Sean Fletcher.
By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter
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