Picture the scene: you’re off out for a run to clear your head, get some exercise and breathe in the fresh air…
Refreshing air, clear sky, music in your ears – not a care in the world. And then you trip over a discarded plastic bottle and your whole serene escape is ruined. If that sounds terrible, then plogging is for you!
Usually armed with gloves and a plastic bag, ‘ploggers’ combine a run with collecting rubbish en-route. The term is a mash-up of ‘jogging’ and ‘plocka’, which is the Swedish word for ‘pick’.
What is plogging?
The trend is just one in a long line of influential inventions from Scandinavia – along with the ‘hygge’ movement, the modern zip and the Celsius scale. Becoming increasingly popular across the world, the craze started in Scandinavia and has spread across Europe, reaching as far as India and the USA.
Think of it as jogging plus – after all, it’s essentially breaking up your run with squats and stretches! So as well as feeling great about cleaning up the community, you can get an extra boost from knowing you’ve done a few burpees along the way.
The Swedish company Lifesum allows users to track their plogging efforts via their app, and estimates that 30 minutes of plogging burns around 50 more calories than a half hour of just jogging, so it’s well worth your while.
A plastic-free lifestyle
Aside from the health benefits, turning your jog into a plog is also great for the environment. Plastic bottles, drinks cans, cigarette butts and food containers are just some of the many objects often discarded as trash on pathways and in parks. Not only are these an eyesore, but they pose a very real risk to wildlife and even small children.
Of course, if jogging isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to incorporate a bit of social clean-up with exercise; you might even invent a new word if you combine environmental work with walking or hiking – that would be a ‘plalk’ or a ‘plike’!
Ploggers in Snowdonia National Park are aided by Plastic Free Snowdonia, a campaign that aims to create sustainable products that can be re-used within the confines of the national park and beyond, to stop people disposing of plastic bottles and packaging after just one use.
We’re particularly lucky in this area to be blessed with some of the most striking scenery anywhere in the country; it would certainly be a shame for litter to disfigure the landscape, so we think plogging is a great idea!
Plogging around Llanberis
Here are a few of our favourite routes around Llanberis and the surrounding area – perfect to try plogging (at a jog or a walk!) to keep North Wales sparkling.
Llyn Padarn circular walk
Try following the circular route around Llanberis’s own Llyn Padarn. If you choose to go the whole way round, the full route is about eight kilometres long, but there are plenty of interesting sites and rest stops along the way; stop for a tour of the National Slate Museumor hop on the Llanberis Lake Railway perhaps?
Keep an eye out for spectacular views of Snowdon around Penllyn and keep your camera handy for when you pass Castell Dolbadarn, just behind our hotel.
One of the most popular routes from Llanberis is the walk up to the summit of Snowdon. Crossing the road outside the hotel, begin at the Snowdon Mountain Railway station, walking south along the main road.
You will come across a signposted path that takes you past Halfway Station and Clogwyn Station. Before you know it the summit of the mountain will be in sight, where (weather permitting) you’ll find plenty of glorious vistas to take in.
Padarn Country Park
More excellent walks can be found in and around Padarn Country Park, which is spread over 800 acres of scenic land.
The views here are spectacular, and there’s plenty to do for all the family, with attractions including the Quarry Hospital museum and the Ropeworks Active adventure course. The walk around the lake is around eight kilometres, though there are a number of shorter walks to try, including the Nature Trail.
Ceunant Mawr, also known as Llanberis Falls, is one of the most beautiful sights in the area, and the walk there from the village is just as lovely. Walk under the viaduct and follow signs for the waterfall, noticing the serene countryside passing as you go.
Once you get to the falls you will no doubt be mesmerised by the cascading water, but make sure to take care and don’t be tempted to jump in for a dip – this is a known danger area for swimmers.
Fancy trying out plogging for yourself? Why not book a stay at the Royal Victoria and plog amongst some of the UK’s finest scenery?