and a very striking Gothic-revival 'straining tower', which filters the waters before they are pumped off to supply Liverpool and Merseyside.
The area around the reservoir is now a bird reserve, partly managed by the RSPB. At one end of the lake, overlooked by the dam, is an interesting sculpture trail showing large wooden artworks by artists from around the world.
Here's one called 'Water is life' by Angela Polglaze from Australia:
After looking around, we went off to find the tallest tree in England and Wales, which was marked as growing on the side of the lake. We were four years too late! The Douglas fir, which was once 63.7m (208.9ft) high, was badly damaged in a storm and had to be felled. However, the chainsaw carver Simon O'Rourke has sculpted the remaining 50-foot stump into a huge reaching hand, which is situated in a beautiful spot near a small waterfall.
On the other side of the lake were more huge wooden artworks. These picnic benches are huge! They were the scene for a highlight of the trip; feeding chaffinches peanuts from my hand.
Simon O'Rourke also carved some very nice sculptures at the camping site that we stayed at;
Pen y bont, on the outskirts of the small town of Bala. They represent figures from the ancient Welsh tales called the Mabinogion. Apparently he carved them all (the image below shows about half the total number) in about 5 days.
This is Taliesin, the poet and seer:
This is Blodeuedd, who was created from the flowers of meadowsweet, broom and oak by Math and the sorceror Gwydion: