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Llyn Padarn Consultation 17/03/2014

Llyn Padarn is one of only two sites this year, that the Welsh Government has been requested to add to the current list of 100 designated bathing waters already existing in Wales, under the bureaucratic sounding European Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC).

The Government are seeking views about the proposal and comments should be submitted by the 21st March 2014. The consultation document with further details including where to send your response can be found in this pdf. A response form can be found at the foot of this page.

A designated bathing water is regularly monitored by Natural Resources Wales during the bathing season, considered to run from mid-May to the end of September, in order to ensure it complies with water quality standards set by the Directive. The local authority is also obliged to provide public information at the site about the bathing water and any abnormal situations.  

Llyn Padarn at the foot of Snowdon is a focal point for the local community and a highly valued recreational resource with associated economic benefits for the area. It is also of importance for conservation as demonstrated by it being assigned a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). The community focused programme, Loving our Lake, concerned with improving the water quality of Llyn Padarn, has placed Snowdonia-Active's response to the consultation online.

In it, Emma Edwards-Jones from Snowdonia-Active, writes: "Maintaining good water quality in Llyn Padarn is essential to protect the health and well-being of the local residents and visitors who swim and paddle on the lake. The local economy is heavily dependent on these visitors and therefore, any deterioration in water quality would have a significant economic impact on the area. We believe that achieving Bathing Waters designation for Llyn Padarn would be an important driver to monitoring and maintaining water quality in the lake."

In recent years, the lake has seen a marked increase in its use for 'wild swimming' and paddlesports. The addition of a pontoon to the 'lagoons' area in 2013, that coincided with a prolonged period of warm weather, helped persuade a remarkable number of Llanberis residents and visitors to take a swim. Llyn Padarn is also popular with events such as the Slateman Triathlon that in 2013 saw a 1000 swimmers brave the chilly water in May.

Ray Wood, an outdoor enthusiast who lives in the lakeside village of Llanberis, commented: "We really don't value our natural assets enough. We conserve castles and spend money building visitor centres yet seemingly overlook safeguarding special places such as Llyn Padarn. Improving the water quality can only be of benefit to everyone, as well as the lake habitat and fish. I've fantastic memories of swimming there with my kids under a full-moon and seeing the broad smiles on their faces at the excitement of being in the middle of such a large body of water, while gazing up at Snowdon."

Topic: Llyn Padarn, Bathing Water Directive.

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