Beautiful Lake Bala is 40 minutes from Pen-y-Dyffryn Hotel.
There is a wide range of wildlife in the Bala & Penllyn area, such as otters, badgers, foxes, squirrels and many types of birds including Red Kites and Buzzards. A short drive away you can see Ospreys and visit RSPB nature reserves. There are many conservation areas such as National Nature Reserves and Bala Lake is a Ramsar wetlands site of international importance. The Berwyn National Nature Reserve (NNR) lies to the east and north-east of Bala – it is an important breeding ground for many upland birds, including: Merlin, Hen Harrier, Peregrine falcon and Red kite.
Bala Lake has 14 species of fish, including the Gwyniad (Coregonus lavaretus), a species of whitefish which is unique to Bala Lake. Around the lake and some rivers, are otters. The lake is also the home of the glutinous snail – Myxas glutinosa. This is the only location in mainland UK where this snail is found. Bala Lake is managed by the Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) as a recreational resource. The Authority also conserves the lake and its special biodiversity. For more detailed information about Bala Lake or the wildlife visit the Warden’s Office on the Lake Foreshore (Bala).
The RSPB Glaslyn Osprey viewpoint, at Pont Croesor, has been in use since 2004 – high power telescopes and remote TV monitors allow a close up view of the Ospreys. The RSPB provides a visitor centre at Lake Vyrnwy and an observation point at Penmaenpool in the Mawddach Valley. The RSPB manages reserves at Coed Garth Gell and Arthog Bog, both in the Mawddach Valley. At Llechwedd Slate Caverns there are Choughs and viewing by RSPB remote TV monitirs; nearby it is also possible to see Kestrels, Red Kites and Buzzards.
The Berwyn National Nature Reserve (NNR), is managed by Natural Resources Wales, and boasts vast areas of moor-covered upland, totalling nearly 8,000 hectares – within the 24,000 hectares of the magnificent Berwyn Mountain range. The Berwyn SSSI (Sites of Special Scientific Interest) is the largest area of heather moorland in Wales and stretches from near Llangollen in the north to Mallwyd in the south. The area is treasured for its upland heather-moor habitats, which include upland breeding birds and birds of prey – as well as many rare and scarce plants. Red squirrels have re-established themselves in some woodland areas particularly where the indigenous spruce has regenerated. Spruce is the natural habitat of the red squirrel. There are also Pine Martins in the Berwyns.