Water is a fundamental part of Wales’s landscape and natural heritage.
Our rivers and lakes (llyns) offer a range of biodiversity, habitats and species. In many cases, this has resulted in them being assigned important UK and EU designations. Eight rivers are classed as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), as are four lakes (llyns) and four estuaries.
Twenty-three of Wales’s rivers are ‘main’, classified as such for the purpose of fishery identification and reporting. This means they should have appreciable runs of salmon and in many cases, sea trout too (or sewin as they are known here).
However, none of these designations do justice to the sheer beauty of Wales’s rivers, nor the deep affection people hold for them.
Their value as suppliers of services and benefits to society such as a clean and abundant supply of drinking water, hydropower, and even disposal of waste (within practical limits) is huge. Additionally, angling and associated tourism brings in visitors and much needed employment and revenue to the Welsh rural economy, estimated to be worth £150million each year.