Today we decided to head north to visit the remote Elan Valley.
Heather remembered visiting the area as a child (many many years ago!) The area is famous for its reservoirs which created a chain of man-made lakes when the Elan and Claerwen rivers were dammed.
Work to build the Elan Valley reservoirs was undertaken because the rapid growth of the industrial city of Birmingham in the late 19th century had led to a lack of available clean water. Numerous outbreaks of disease prompted Birmingham City Council to petition the British government which passed the Birmingham Corporation Water Act in 1892. It allowed the Corporation to acquire by compulsory purchase all the land within the water catchment area of the Elan Valleys. Thousands of navvies and their families lived in the purpose-built Elan Village during the construction of the first four dams at the turn of the 20th century. In 1952, the last Claerwen dam was opened by Elizabeth II in one of her first official engagements as monarch.
Today the area is outstandingly beautiful and has an amazing range of wildlife and rare habitats. It also provides some excellent walking.
We had a lovely day exploring the valley and dams.