The abandoned 19th century mine ruined by Instagram influencers

  • Social media stars are supposedly at risk of ‘killing’ the Gaewern slate mine 

Instagram influencers have laid waste to an abandoned 19th century mine after leaving piles of rubbish behind, local volunteers have claimed. 

Volunteer Anthony Taylor believes wannabe social media stars are at risk of ‘killing’ the historic Gaewern slate mine near Corris Uchaf in Gwynedd has been littered with plastic bags, inflatable dinghies and even human excrement. 

The centuries old mine became the site of a bizarre phenomenon following its closure in the 1970s when people began dumping old cars and televisions into one of its main chambers. 

Mr Taylor claimed in recent years it has attracted the attention of influencers looking  to snap a quick selfie of the picturesque scene after it was made popular by a YouTube video in 2018. 

The 42-year-old, who himself has found heaps of rubbish and graffitti from unwanted visitors, believes the caves may be closed to the public for good if they don’t clean up their act. 

Volunteer Anthony Taylor claims Instagram influencers have laid waste to an abandoned 19th century mine after leaving piles of rubbish behind

The centuries old mine became the site of a bizarre phenomenon following its closure in the 1970s when people began dumping old cars and televisions into one of its main chambers

Volunteers carry a dinghy out of the cave after it was left behind by visitors

Mr Taylor told the BBC: ‘Instagram seems to be the killer of a lot of things. People turn up, take a picture and then leave [a mess].

‘From about 30ft (9m) in, the spray painting starts, and it was awful.

‘When you get to the end, it was just a sea of boats, inflatable dinghies everywhere.

‘It’s just disgusting, really sad and disheartening.’   

Mr Taylor, who first visited the site in 2022, was part of a group of six volunteers who organised a clean up on March 22 as ‘something had to be done’ about the mess. 

He claims they hauled out as many as 30 rubber dinghies out of the cave, with help from another group from the YouTube channel Hell on Earth. 

They also spent hours scrubbing the graffiti which had covered ‘every bit of wall’ inside the cave. 

Mr Taylor added that he also removed discarded glow sticks and even human faeces from the cave floor. 

The 42-year-old is looking to educate people about the importance of historic sites like Gaewern in the hopes they can be treated more respectfully. 

If this doesn’t happen, he fears such places could soon be sealed off to the public.  

He said: ‘The people that go to these places, influencers they call themselves, they go because they’ve got inherent value to them. Why destroy it for everyone else?

‘If these things keep happening, it’s going to be lost to everyone forever.

‘I wouldn’t have thought you’d have to teach people these things, but you really do in this day and age.’

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