We were sent details of a project initiated by our friends at Snowdonia Active, based in the Llanberis area of North Wales, which is inviting residents and businesses to join in to help improve the water quality of Lyn Padarn. The project will last a year, and will include numerous different activities to help identify and promote ways in which the community can take small steps to make big differences to help the lake and its wildlife.
The reason, as explained by project manager Dr Emma Edwards-Jones is pretty clear: “Whether you have a business on the shores of the lake, enjoy swimming in the lagoons, catching fish, walking your dog along the lake path, or you simply drive past it everyday, all of us who live and work in the Llanberis valley have a link to Llyn Padarn”. The fear is that increasing levels of toxic algal bloom in recent years have caused the lake to be “off limits”, impacting not only on those who enjoy using the lake but the wildlife that call it home.
Once recent activity that has been part of the “Loving our Lake” project is the release of Arctic Charr into the Afon-y-Bala in order to boost numbers of the fish and help protect the population in Lyn Padarn. A rare and unique species in the UK, Arctic Charr is only found in deep, cold lakes, and the population in Lyn Padarn has been in decline in recent years. One of the threats to the population was the increase in toxic algal bloom, which is why developments such as new pipelines built by Welsh Water to prevent phosphate seepage into the lake are all part of the improvements. But the message is not only for big institutions; locals can do their part by shifting to phosphate free dishwasher detergents and making sure that septic tanks are emptied every 1-2 years.
What all this shows is that to make a positive change to our environment it needs to be a combined effort, between organisations, companies and individuals… Llanberis locals know that their behaviour can have a direct impact on the health of their lake, in the same way that all of us can have a direct impact – both positive and negative – on our surroundings. Take a look at the Loving our Lake website for more details.