The Loch Ness monster draws in thousands of tourists a year but it might not be the only beast hiding in Britain's deepwater lakes.

Beasts of Britain author Andy McGrath has looked into seven chilling eye-witness accounts of an amphibian up to 12ft long in Wales' largest and deepest lake, Bala Lake in Snowdonia National Park.

The sightings of so-called Teggie of Llyn Tegid, which date back as far as 1975, all report a similar "Nessie" looking creature only on a much smaller scale.

Described as greyish brown or black in colour, and typically between eight to 12ft long, the mysterious animal is believed to have one or two humps, a long neck and a roundish football-sized head with a crocodilian snout.

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“All of a sudden I saw a greyish object moving in the water. Whatever it was, it was 8 feet long and had a small hump in the middle. It was moving towards the Llanycil (eastern) shore," Dewi Bowen, a former Lake Warden at Llyn Tegid said in 1975.

"I jumped into my car and drove to the point where it thought the object would come ashore, but I was unable to locate or see it again. When people pressed me afterwards for a description of the object I saw, I told them that it looked more like a crocodile than any other creature”.

Andy also notes how a pair of friends cut their lake swim short after claiming to have been terrified by a large creature beneath them.

The pals say they returned to Bala Lake the following day and found a very large, dead pike on the shore with massive bite marks on it they believe to have been left by Teggie.

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Looking into the possibility of such a creature existing in the UK, Andy has reached a couple of conclusions that would explain how Teggie and many more like him, might have been able to survive almost entirely under the radar for so many years.

Andy said: "I have a theory that these creatures populate most lakes, lochs, rivers and coastal waterways in the UK and that, as amphibious animals, they can move over land when necessary to feed or breed in other bodies of water or Use Rivers, which connect to other lakes and the sea, to find fresh feeding grounds or a mate.

"Perhaps they could also be nocturnal hunters, protected by the darkness and minimal night-time lighting that is common in rural areas of the UK. Perfect conditions for a shy and elusive animal to thrive in."

Bala Lake or Llyn Tegid is approximately four miles long, half a mile wide and 40 metres deep, 22 miles west of Llangollen.

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Watersports and fishing lovers alike are known to visit the isolated spot throughout the summer.

Witness, B Vickers, reported spotting the monster at close range in the summer of 1992.

She said: "It was twilight and I was on the shingle beach of the lake, in front of the Catamaran Club, looking for flat stones to skim on the lake's calm surface.

"Without thinking, I suddenly turned a full 180 degrees and looked straight at the monster. The reason for my sudden turnaround was because it was looking right at me. It was about twenty metres away, its black head and neck clear above the surface of the water."

It is not just fish however that predator Teggie relies on to keep up his strength, according to Andy who believes the creature is a capable hunter on land.

The cryptozoology enthusiast said: "As far as food is concerned, the lake is very productive. It is home to the ancient & famous Gwyniad fish.

"But also has an abundance of other fish species including Pike, Perch, Brown Trout and Eels.

"There are also up to 1000 ewes grazing in the surrounding fields and hills, which seasonally produce many lambs, a good additional food source if Teggie; like Nessie is an amphibious animal."

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