Plans for ‘off-roading experience’ at breeding site for ospreys slammed
Dŵr Cymru has come under fire for advertising an “off road experience” using an all-terrain articulated truck at a reservoir which is a breeding site for ospreys.
Former North Wales Police and Crimes commissioner, Arfon Jones has tweeted a screenshot of the “attraction” tagging politicians, environment and wildlife groups to raise awareness.
He noticed that Dŵr Cymru is advertising a forthcoming attraction at Llyn Brenig in the form of an “all-weather, all-terrain vehicle for an exciting new off-road adventure experience” using a tracked, articulated ex-army vehicle which can “take boggy grassland, muddy hollows and rocky terrain” in its stride, and claims to leave a only light track mark on the landscape.
He said: “This can’t be right. This off-roading damages moorland and pollutes waterways. This is wrong on so many levels.”
This can't be right @NatResWales @NWPRuralCrime @rural_wales
This offroading damages moorland and pollutes waterways. This is wrong on so many levels @LlyrGruffydd @marcvjones @mabonapgwynfor pic.twitter.com/TaQ3qCU31o
— Arfon Jones 🏴🏴 (@ArfonJ) September 18, 2021
Llyn Brenig is located in the heart of the Denbigh Moors, at a height of 1200 feet, on the border between Conwy and Denbighshire.
While the reservoir is already popular for traditional water sports such as sailing, fishing, and canoeing, the only power craft allowed on the water, until now, has been used by fishermen, ranger patrol boats and sailing club safety craft.
The Llyn Brenig website describes the all-terrain vehicle used in the experience as “a Hägglunds Bandvagn (Bv) 206, a tracked, articulated, all-terrain carrier designed to carry army troops in the bogs and woods of the Scandinavian Arctic.
“This particular vehicle served in the Swedish armed forces in the 1980s before being shipped to the UK. Lightweight, powerful and unstoppable, the Bandvagn comprises two units with four powered tracks.”
It adds: “It has extremely low ground pressure (1.9 psi) due to its wide tracks and leaves very little trace of its journey in the landscapes of Llyn Brenig.
“The very limited physical impact of the Bv 206 on the natural environment adds to Lake Brenig’s already impressive sustainability credentials.”
In 2018, ospreys, largely monogamous birds who return to the same nest sites year after year, began breeding at Llyn Brenig.
They are rare in Wales, just a handful according to the Dyfi Osprey project, though numbers are improving in England and Scotland.
Last year it was reported that a reality TV show crew may have disturbed the ospreys during the breeding season while filming “The Bridge” in the area.
At the time it was reported that the set was near a rare nesting pair and their chick, and that according to Wales Wildlife Trust, they had not returned to the nest for two weeks.
The programme saw 12 contestants building a 250m walkway to a pontoon in the reservoir, and local wildlife advocates said that parts of the woodland were cleared for crew accommodation.
At the time, wildlife lover Annie Maluver said: “I’m a keen wildlife observer and I’ve been speaking to the wildlife trust at the site, and they are very concerned.
“To think they may not come back next year is devastating. If they’ve frightened them off they can’t undo the damage that’s been done.”