15 December 2005

Welsh dive site under threat

Divers in Wales believe the demolition of a wooden jetty near Caernarfon is set to destroy an important marine habitat and popular dive site.

Trefor Pier was originally built in the early 1900s to load locally quarried stone, and is a popular sheltered dive site.

However, the local council say it is too expensive to keep. Gwynedd Council, which owns the structure, said demolition was the only viable option, as the pier would cost £500,000 to refurbish.

According to local divers, Trefor Pier is sheltered and makes a safe open water dive with lots of marine life using it as a haven from the areas tidal waters. It is thought taking it down would kill off a lot of the life that has grown on its wooden structure for more than 100 years.

"We will lose an extremely important habitat," Welsh-based underwater photographer Paul Kay told DIVE. "There are creatures living there semi-permanently. I have dived there many times and seen the same creatures. There is one tompot blenny with damage to its lower jaw, which I have seen there many times. I know it's the same one because it is so distinctive. I hope something can be done to save the pier."

The council said the cost of renovating the jetty is so high because its main wood structures have seriously deteriorated and a barge would have to be used for any work as it sits in a tidal area. The National Piers Society charity said it was unable to help. A public meeting held in October to discuss the future of Trefor’s pier saw strong support to preserve it for the community.

"The question is how much is the pier worth?" said local councillor William Arthur Evans. "To attract grants to keep it open it must be seen to make a profit for the area." The county council has closed Trefor Pier as a safety precaution.

Source: www.divemagazine.co.uk/news


At 12:58 AM, Anonymous Paul said...

The Pier at trefor is still standing,as at 14/06/07. In fact our club is presently organiseing a trip for july 2007.We have found a cracking campsite Mr jones
Tel: 01286660222 and a dive shop four miles down the road for air fills.


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