The Afon Bodesi – One of the Carneddu’s Last Free Rivers

January 16, 2024
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On June 13th Save Our Rivers attended the National Trust's information day for their proposed Afon Bodesi hydro scheme in the Ogwen Valley.

Where is it:

The scheme is proposed in the heart of the Ogwen Valley on the Afon Bodesi as it flows from the southern flanks of the Carneddau, just behind the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue base directly opposite Tryfan. This is one of the most important mountain landscapes in the UK, is designated a SAC (special area of conservation) and sits within a National Park.

Afon Bodesi is one of only 3 free flowing streams left on the Carneddau massive. With all the other south flowing streams captured by the leat to fill Llyn Cowlyd, the streams to the east captured in a series of reservoirs and leats that feed the RWE hydro at Dolgarrog and the North following streams all already containing manmade barriers (1 being another National Trust hydro).

The scheme will have an installed capacity of 85Kw and will run with a capacity of around 30-40% of that. For equivalence a single modern windturbines off the North Wales coast are 8MW, (8000Kw).

Why are they building it:

The National Trust are (hopefully) not naïve enough to believe that the building of small scale hydro will have any impact on climate change. What they are aiming to do is to fulfil a self-imposed target of generating 50% of their energy consumption through renewables. This is to be seen to be doing something (even if nothing meaningful is achieved). We are looking at the destruction of Welsh streams and rivers to greenwash the running of stately homes in England.

What else could they do?

Most of the National Trust’s greenhouse emissions come not from their properties (19,800 tonnes of CO2) but from their agricultural holdings (equivalent to 667,567 tonnes of CO2), small changes in agricultural practice could have a large effect. Removing agriculture from areas of land and replacing with native tree planting could have a massive effect. So why aren’t they doing this? The simple answer is money, FIT payments to be precise.

Do they need the money?

As a charity the NT don’t make profit, but they do have an operating margin which is a bit like, well it’s a bit like profit.

This has nearly doubled in the last 4 years from £59.1 million to £101.1 million in 2017.

So no, they don’t need the money.

Tagged: Bodesi · Greenwashing · Hydro · National Trust · north wales · Snowdonia

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