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Tourism businesses take the pledge to love Llyn Padarn

Tourism businesses located around Llyn Padarn have joined forces in signing the Loving our Lake Pledge to help ensure the lake stays clean and sparkling for the future.  Leading businesses are throwing their weight behind the Loving our Lake campaign and are helping to spread the word.  Emma Edwards-Jones, Loving our Lake Project Manager, is asking all types of tourism businesses in the Llanberis area, including hotels, b&bs, self-catering, cafes and restaurants to be aware that what they put down the drain could affect water quality in Llyn Padarn.

Emma recently visited self-catering property, Capel Fachwen which is managed by Wales Cottage Holidays.  ‘It is particularly important that properties like Capel Fachwen are careful about the chemicals they use to ensure that their septic tank functions as efficiently as possible, thus minimising the potential for pollution entering the streams which lead to the lake.’ said Emma.  Jacky McMahon from Wales Cottage Holidays said ‘We are thrilled that the owner of Capel Fachwen has signed up to the Loving our Lake Pledge. Many of the guests staying in our holiday cottages are here to enjoy the stunning environment so we are keen to encourage our home owners to be environmentally responsible in any way they can.’

A particular focus of the campaign is to encourage the use of phosphate-free dishwasher detergents.  High levels of phosphates change the natural ecology of lakes and act as a unnatural nutrient, causing blue green algae to literally ‘bloom’.  ‘Conventional dishwasher detergents contain more than 30% phosphates, but there are phosphate-free alternatives on the market which are cheaper and just as effective‘ said Heidi Petch-Jones, owner of Gallt y Glyn restaurant & bunkhouse, who trialled a phosphate free detergent for Loving our Lake.  This knowlege is being shared with both established and new businesses including the recently opened, Lodge Dinorwig cafe.  Business owners, Sonja Weissenberger and Simon Rothwell, are going to great lengths to ensure that their new business will have as little impact on the environment as possible and have already signed the pledge.

The Royal Victoria Hotel, Llanberis occupies a spectacular location with views across the lake.  Deputy Manager Ann Owen said ‘As a business based in the catchment of Llyn Padarn, we are committed to ensuring that our activities do not knowingly harm the lake.  We are changing to ecologically friendly cleaning products, especially phosphate free dishwasher detergents. We are also working with our grounds staff to ensure they are aware of what they should do to avoid spillages or leaks being washed into surface water drains.’

In 2014 Llyn Padarn was designated as the first inland bathing water in Wales.  Water quality in the lake is sampled on a weekly basis throughout the summer and has consistently met stringent European criteria and is classed as ‘excellent’.  Loving our Lake is asking everyone, businesses and local residents alike, to play a part in ensuring the lake continues to meet these water quality standards.  The mangement of water quality in the lake is complex and it is vital that everyone does their bit to ensure that there is no repeat of the algal bloom which occurred in 2009, with significant impacts on lake ecology and the local tourism industry.

14 local businesses have taken action and signed the Loving our Lake Pledge, more information and suggestions on how people can change their habits to help prevent pollution can be found on the ‘Loving Our Lake’ Facebook Community Page (search for ‘LlynPadarn’).

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Image: Dan Shepherd (Capel Fachwen) and Jacky McMahon (Wales Cottage Holidays)

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