One of the greatest stretches of whitewater in the UK is under real threat.
The German company RWE NPower, in association with Dulas (a North Wales renewable energy consultants) are planning to dam and divert up to 75% of the flow above Conwy Falls (Penmachno Bridge) for the purposes of small scale hydroelectric power generation. The section under threat is known to paddlers as the “Fairy Glen”. To put this into perceptive the Conwy only needs 10m³/s of water for it to be paddled. The scheme will divert 6m³/s of water through a 2km long pipe. This will significantly reduce the number of days per year that the Conwy will be at the minimum paddling level.
In addition the Afon Conwy represents the jewel in the crown of North Wales’ wild mountain rivers, boasting numerous Site Special Scientific Interests (SSSIs) sites along its banks. The Conwy Valley is also an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and much of the river lies within the Snowdonia National Park.
Although renewable energy has many benefits it is highly likely that this scheme will inflict significant and irreversible damage to a river that gives so much to so many different user groups. It is essential that the views of all user groups of Conwy are heard loud and clear. You can write to the planning purity directly (a link to a template letter with address is in the link below, or you can email Canoe Wales directly – firstname.lastname@example.org.