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Surf Snowdonia: "Wales's biggest bath"

Our North Wales reporter Rob Shelley has been watching Surf Snowdonia's indoor lagoon fill up with water today.

Two pipes are filling up Wales's largest bath Credit: ITV Wales

The giant lake will cover the equivalent of eight football pitches and will give surfers a place to hit the waves that isn't dependent on tides.

He writes:

Stretched out over what used to be the old Dolgarrog Aluminium plant, right now two giant pipes are filling their version of Wales' biggest bath: it'll take 15 hours before the concrete disappears to be replaced by a still blue surface - which when you add the massive engine and bits of jiggery and pokery that are commercially sensitive, will make the only indoor surfing facility of its kind in the world

– Rob Shelley, North Wales Reporter
An indoor surfing lagoon equivalent to eight football pitches Credit: ITV Wales

It's filling up (literally) now: it all opens on August the first, so there's no point in turning up with a surfboard and an optimistic look till then. But the man masterminding it all - former Army Colonel Steve Davies, compares it to a parachute begin your descent and then you realise that the earth is rushing up towards you - three weeks is quite a deadline, but they're bang on schedule.

And between this, Zipworld, Bounce Below and the possibility of some of Wales' most challenging climbs, it could be possible to exhaust a lifetime's worth of adrenaline in just one week in Wales....

– Rob Shelley

'Jumping Umbrella': a prize winning pic

A Welsh photographer beat thousands to claim second prize in an online photo competition.

A Welsh photographer won £2000 with this entry Credit: Nadya Migai

Almost 6,000 people entered a competition run by watchmakers Christopher Ward to share images of the places, people and sights they feel best express what 'makes Britain tick'. Nadya Migai, originally from Moldova but now living in Wales, entered the competition with a photo entitled 'Jumping Umbrella'. She has won £2000 for coming second.

“This shot was taken about two months ago in Manchester during an informal photo trip. It was a cold rainy Manchester day (of course!) and the girl in the picture matched so perfectly to the surroundings that it felt like she belonged to that place.

For me, the moody weather completed the picture and it’s a real 'Mary Poppins' moment!”

– Nadya Migai
First prize: a candid shot of commuters at a tube station Credit: Benjie Aguilera Brown

First prize went to Benjie Aguilera Brown for his candid capture of a crowd of texting commuters lost in their own worlds on a tube station platform.

Third prize: a morris minor by the sea Credit: Charlotte Docker

A top 100 shortlist of images was whittled down via the number of likes received on photo sharing website Instagram. These top 100 were then put forward to a judging panel. Charlotte Docker came third with her image of a morris minor at the seaside.


P..p..p..penguin school has begun!

A summer school for five penguin chicks has opened for the Class of 2015.

Cogsworth and Thumper are in a flap about starting school Credit: Folly Farm

Summer holiday countdown might be on for children in Wales, but for another set of youngsters, ‘school’ is about to start.

The first two penguin chicks at Folly Farm have fledged from the nest and been taken into a special penguin nursery enclosure where they will learn key penguin survival skills.

All five penguin chicks at the zoo have been named after Disney characters - Cogsworth, Bagheera, Abu, Scuttle and Thumper.

Eventually the penguin chicks will re-join their families in the main enclosure Credit: Folly Farm

After a few months at 'Penguin school' they will graduate back into the penguin community in a few months' time.

In the wild, half of all penguin chicks won’t survive by themselves. As they are an endangered species, Folly Farm is one of many zoos that takes the young penguins into a nursery enclosure until their waterproof feathers are fully grown, and they have learned to eat independently.

Abu the penguin will learn the 'bare necessities' at school Credit: Folly Farm

Folly Farm currently has 35 penguins, including the five new chicks. The eldest penguin, at 22 years of age, is Holly, closely followed by her partner of some 20 years, Harry. Penguin life expectancy is around 22 in the wild and 30 in captivity.

What a result! Welsh footballers help in marriage proposal

A man from the Valleys employed a unique way of proposing to his girlfriend - by recruiting stars of the Welsh national football team to help.

Matthew recruited the likes of Wales captain Ashley Williams to help. Credit: Matthew Davies

Matthew Davies from Aberdare arranged the film after speaking to a friend who worked at the Football Association of Wales.

Both Matthew and his partner Vicky Griffiths are footy mad, with Vicky a big fan of Swansea City.

The pair met five years again when Matthew, himself a supporter of local side Merthyr Town, began following the national side to home and away games.

Wales boss Chris Coleman called Matthew Credit: Matthew Davies

In fact the couple's first trip abroad together was to Switzerland in 2010, where they saw Wales fall to a disappointing 4-1 defeat in a Euro 2012 qualifier.

But with the national side on the up and so close to securing their place in Euro 2016, Matthew has seized the opportunity to score a blinder himself.

And in case you were wondering...Vicky said yes.

"So I just asked Vicky whether she would marry me. But being a footy nut as well I showed her this video on my phone of me and my pals. Would they persuade her to say yes?........Yes it worked"

– Matthew Davies

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