‘Deleting Wales’? BBC makes waves after referring to Llyn Tegid as ‘Bala Lake’
The BBC has been accused of erasing Welsh place names after referring to Llyn Tegid as ‘Bala Lake’ in a news report.
The corporation reported on the lake near the town of Y Bala after tourists were warned about toxic algae found in the water, which could cause illness and irritation.
But the BBC’s decision to dub the freshwater glacial body of water ‘Bala Lake’ cause irritation in and of itself, with almost a hundred social media users replying, with some accusing them of “deleting Wales”.
Ian Clarke, a former Chair of Ofcom’s Advisory Committee for Wales, wrote that BBC Wales needed to “get a grip”. “These clowns aren’t doing BBC Wales any good,” he said. “And it’s getting worse.”
“Thanks BBC, I’ll avoid swimming in Bala Lake, wherever that is, and swim in Llyn Tegid as you haven’t reported that might be unsafe,” Paul Elliott said.
“No such place as Bala Lake – for godness sake do your research – it’s not that hard!” Emyr Thomas wrote.
The name Llyn Tegid goes back at least as far back as the Cronica Walliae published in 1568. Bala Lake, meanwhile, has been in written use since at least the early 19th century.
Consternation over the name ‘Bala Lake’ comes after a 5,000 signature petition was presented to bosses at the Eryri National Park asking them to use the name Yr Wyddfa rather than Snowdon.
Meeting in April, the Snowdonia National Park Authority kicked a motion calling for the peak to only be known as Yr Wyddfa into the long grass after authority chiefs instead set up a working group to consider its future policy on Welsh place names.
Such calls, which would also see the national park also referred to as Eryri rather than Snowdonia, were prompted by Gwynedd councillor John Pughe Roberts who felt it would be “a real chance to make a statement on the need to protect our indigenous Welsh place names.”
Previous efforts have been made to drop the English forms including one from language pressure group Cymuned in 2003, who claimed that the area only became known as Snowdonia due to Victorian day-trippers.