Poll: Majority want Wales’ highest peak to be referred to as Snowdon not Yr Wyddfa
Most Welsh adults want Wales’ highest peak to be referred to as Snowdon and not Yr Wyddfa, according to a new poll.
The survey conducted by YouGov found that 60% prefer the mountain to be primarily known by its English name, while 30% percent think it should be known firstly by its Welsh language name, and 10 % don’t know.
It follows a motion by Cllr John Pughe Roberts that it should only be referred as Yr Wyddfa, which was rejected by Snowdonia National Park Authority, stating that the issue was already being looked into.
The poll also found that Welsh and English speakers tended to view the subject differently to each other.
Over half of Welsh speakers (59%) would rather see the 1,085m mountain primarily known as Yr Wyddfa. Of this group, some 37% think Snowdon should also continue to be used, and not scrapped entirely.
At 69%, the opinion of those who do not speak or read Welsh is firmly in favour of keeping Snowdon as the mountain’s primary name.
Wales’ youngest adults, aged between 16 and 24, are split almost down the middle over the prospect, with 43% in favour of the Welsh name, and 44% preferring the use of Snowdon.
However older adults prefer the use of Snowdon, including 66% of those aged 65 and over.
On the YouGov website it says: “In Welsh folklore, King Arthur buried a giant, Rhitta Gawr, under a cairn (pile of stones) that over time formed the mountain many of us know as today Snowdon. However the mountain has another name in Welsh: Yr Wyddfa.
“Last week, a Welsh councillor called upon Snowdonia National Park authorities to refer to Wales’ highest peak primarily by its traditional Welsh name instead of Snowdon – a prospect they are considering.
“A YouGov survey of over 1,000 Welsh adults reveals that six in ten (60%) prefer the mountain to be known as Snowdon – which comes from old English for ‘Snow hill’ or ‘Snow dune’. However, some 30% think it should be known firstly by its Welsh name Yr Wyddfa, which refers to a barrow or burial mound.”
The motion put before Snowdonia National Park Authority said: “That the authority hereafter uses only the authority’s Welsh name for the authority and that this becomes relevant in any language i.e. ‘Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri’ and never uses ‘Snowdonia National Park’ again.
“The same should apply to ‘Yr Wyddfa’ – never to use the name ‘Snowdon’ for it again.”
Following the decision to reject the motion, Cllr John Pughe Roberts told Nation.Cymru: “I’m disappointed that they don’t have any confidence in the Welsh language. For me, we need to have confidence in the Welsh language, and there’s no point talking about independence if we haven’t got any confidence in the language.
“It’s gone to another committee – kicking the can down the road. I’m not happy of course. It’s a bureaucratic way of doing it.
“They’ve decided to put it to a committee and see what the committee says. They rejected this motion.
“To tell the truth Cllr Edgar Owen from Waunfawr, he opposed the motion, and he didn’t want to speak about the motion to be honest.
“They didn’t talk about it a lot. I was pretty disappointed that every Plaid Cymru member apart from one voted to oppose the motion.”
SNPA Chair Wyn Ellis Jones said: “Authority members decided that there was no need to consider the motion today as a Welsh Place Names Task and Finish Group has already been appointed.
“This follows previous consideration by the Members in a Working Group which recommended to establish and adopt guidelines to guide the use of place names by the SNPA. Members will consider these issues once the Task and Finish group is able to make recommendations.
“The Authority is committed to protect and promote the use of native place names for everyday use and future generations.”
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