The conifers were first planted in the valley after WW1 as the government were concerned with unrest still in Europe that there was not enough wood available to build new boats etc should the country go to war again. The army were in charge of choosing locations and managing the planting.
Irish Bridge (over the Liza at the end of the lake) is so named as it was the Irish that first designed a low water crossing bridge. The idea is that it gives a dry crossing most of the time but when the river floods it can flow easily over the bridge and not damage it. It is a cheaper option than to build a bridge up over the expected high water level & run the risk of it being swept away in flood conditions. We have never seen water flowing over the bridge but were told when the floods happened last November you couldn't even see the bridge!
Thanks Gareth for an interesting afternoon