The cycle of water from mountain to sea and its return to mountain is much in evidence in Eryri. The mountain streams and lakes, the rivers and lakes further down in the foothills and coastal plains, and the clouds, mist, rain and even the snow lying on the mountains are all part of this life-supporting cycle.
This is perhaps one of the most essentially natural features of Snowdonia: man can do little to stem the elements, and water flows now as it has done for thousands of years. The contours of the mountains were carved by frozen water joumeying on this same cycle, the soils and rocks on the valley floors were deposited by it.
River banks can often provide habitats for species of plants and animals which cannot survive elsewhere. Lakes and rivers themselves harbour a diversity of life in many forms, but again the destructive hand of man is evident: pollution, often in the form of acid rain, is decimating aquatic wildlife; and the physical impact of dams, reservoirs, artificially channelled waterways, and power generation can be seen in the landscape.
The water of Snowdonia provides drinking water for people as far away as Liverpool and Manchester, water to support wildlife, a playground for water sports enthusiasts and anglers, water to sustain farming livelihoods, and an occasional power source. Water is an integral landscape feature, a precious asset visible from almost anywhere in Snowdonia.
Water is an element of the experience of the landscape of Snowdonia. The sound of water moving, the feel of rain, the mists, spectacular cloud effects, air humidity, mountains frozen in snow and dew drops on a summer morning: all are part of Eryri and all are water.