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Press release

Special bench marks the story of connection and change at Cwm Idwal, Eryri (Snowdonia)

Hand carved new story bench at Cwm Idwal, Eryri (Snowdonia)
Hand carved new story bench at Cwm Idwal | © National Trust Images

Three pairs of strangers with a special connection to Cwm Idwal come together to express their hopes and fears for the area in a changing climate. The themes from their conversations inspiring a specially carved bench for visitors to enjoy, located along the path to the lake.

Cwm Idwal National Nature Reserve in northern Eryri (Snowdonia), is affected by climate change in many ways. Heavy rain is causing erosion, and unpredictable weather, extreme heat and drought increase the pressures on already rare plant species. But the landscape, cared for by the National Trust Cymru in partnership with Natural Resources Wales and Eryri National Park, is supported by several climate adaptation measures.

Rhys Wheldon-Roberts, Cwm Idwal Partnership Officer, said “Our footpath work helps tackle erosion, grazing control helps increase biodiversity and an innovative temperature sensor system helps protect rare plants from damage in winter. These measures all increase the resilience of Cwm Idwal to the effects of climate change.”

The pairs included local poet, Ieuan Wyn, who has long been inspired by the landscape and seventeen-year-old Lynwen Veerbek, who has grown up in the valley. Alun Roberts a retired headmaster whose family has lived in the area for 350 years and once owned nearby Ogwen Cottage spoke with David Walker, a mountaineer who moved to Bethesda during the lockdown and now works in the landscape. As well as Dan Parri, a local shepherd who chatted to Rachel Bedwin a member of the National Trust footpath team, who learnt Welsh and moved to the area from London.

The bench inspired by their conversations, encourages people to sit and share their stories of Cwm Idwal and how it’s changing. Carved into the back panel are words and images that capture the landscape and people’s relationship to it, including a couplet by Ieuan Wyn:

“Hyfryd yw hud Cwm Idwal,
A’i swynion dwfn sy’n ein dal.

Watch the film

A short film of their conversations can be watched here and will also be available in Canolfan Cwm Idwal for visitors to see.

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Story Bench at Cwm Idwal

This video brings together three pairs of strangers with a special connection to Cwm Idwal, Eryri to express their hopes and fears for the area in a changing climate.

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