- Welsh Water is to start the process of re-opening Llyn Brenig, Llandegfedd, and Elan Valley on Friday 19 June
- Visitors will only be able to access sites between 9am and 5pm daily
- The reservoirs will open for walking, cycling and bankside fishing only
- Sites have been closed since March to protect customers and teams from COVID-19
- Visitor Centres will remain closed to all visitors until further review
Welsh Water has confirmed it has begun a phased re-opening of its flagship reservoir sites for local visitors from Friday 19 June after their closure due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Reservoirs at Elan Valley in mid-Wales, Llandegfedd Reservoir near Pontypool, and Llyn Brenig in Conwy – which welcome more than half a million visitors a year normally – will be open only for walkers, cyclists and bankside fishing and their visitor centres will remain closed for the time being.
It’s the first stage of a gradual re-opening of the company’s network of reservoirs and lakes after the nationwide lockdown was introduced in March.
Car parks in major sites will re-open between 9am-5pm only, and sites will also offer limited takeaway drinks services, which will follow a strict one-way system and social distancing rules.
Fishing will only be allowed with a permit, and the company will contact angling associations to outline how the new system will work across all its sites that are re-opening, including smaller sites where angling agreements are in place. Major visitor sites will use a contactless booking system to obtain permits, but no watersports or fishing will be allowed on the water to ensure health and safety.
It comes after the Welsh Government moved the country into the “red phase” on the Government’s traffic light system, meaning that some access is allowed as long as the public maintain social distancing and don’t travel more than five miles to access the site.
Welsh Water closed its flagship centres in mid-March, in a bid to limit social contact in line with guidance from the UK and Welsh Governments. Workers at the visitor centres have been supported by Welsh Water while the facility is closed.
The company has asked people to visit its website dwrcymru.com and follow its social media channels for the latest updates on the attraction.
Mark Davies, Head of Visitor Attractions Operations, said: “We realise how important our lakes and reservoirs are to the local communities we serve, so we are taking our first steps towards ensuring they can enjoy these amenities once more.
“But we have a responsibility to the public, and to our teams, to ensure this is done as safely as possible. Our flagship sites are only opening during limited hours and the visitor centres will remain closed so we can minimise the risk to everyone, while ensuring people can walk and cycle in these areas once more.
“We will continue to keep this situation under review and we would encourage visitors to follow the social distancing rules in place to maintain their, and others’, safety.”