PLANS to boost flood defences and recreational amenities at Wales’ largest natural lake are set to be submitted at the start of next year.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is preparing to carry out construction work to strengthen the embankments of Llyn Tegid, Bala, which have been weakened by the roots of diseased trees. It said that despite there being effective flood defences in place, the deterioration of the embankments has made the lakeside vulnerable to damage from flooding and strong winds.

Llyn Tegid, which takes its name from a character in early Welsh tales, is the only home to the rare 'gwyniad' whitefish and attracts thousands of visitors to the Bala Lake Railway every year.

As well as removing the trees and bolstering other flood defences such as large rocks, NRW said it could improve lakeside services that would consider its environmental value and importance to Bala’s community, recreation and tourism.

The Welsh Government sponsored environmental management body, which oversees water and flood defences, as well as woodlands and nature reserves in Wales, began a consultation last summer with residents and recreational users of the lake to develop a popular approach.

There has been local opposition to the removal of the ash trees, but NRW stressed the measure is necessary because they have dieback disease, which causes progressive death from the branches to the roots.

NRW said that it would plant more trees and restore wildlife habitat. Ideas to improve the lake amenities have also been raised during the consultation, including footpaths, seating areas and upgraded car parks.

A planning application will be submitted to Snowdonia National Park Authority in early 2020, subject to ground investigations and ecological surveys.

Sian Williams, head of operations for NRW in North West Wales, said: “We are committed to keeping communities safe from flooding.

“We appreciate that there is some local concern about the need to remove some of the trees growing in the lake embankments to undertake the safety work.

“We recently surveyed the trees that could be affected and will protect and retain healthy trees, which have a high amenity and ecological value, where possible.

“However, some trees that need removing are already affected by the ash dieback disease.

“We are working alongside the community to develop recreation and environment projects, including significant tree planting, at the same time as the essential safety work.

“This way we hope to minimise the impact along the embankment and deliver a scheme that is not only safe but delivers great benefits to the community and the environment.”

NRW is also working with Bala Lake Railway to make sure the proposed track extension is developed in harmony with the scheme.

NRW will continue to consult with the community and will hold another drop-in session in Bala in November.

Dilwyn Morgan, Bala county councillor, said: “It’s vitally important that the lake safety work progresses to keep Y Bala safe in the long-term.

“The ideas coming in for wider community and landscape benefits sound promising – and I’d encourage anyone with ideas about more enhancements to get in touch with NRW.”

Construction is not expected to start until the Autumn 2020.

For more information, or to make suggestions to the consultation, or email