The beautiful River Wye forms part of our local Herefordshire landscape. It is ecologically important and also brings tourism and financial gain to our county.
For many of us a strong silent river runs by. It looks beautiful and has lived forever. The truth is that this great amenity river is slowly dying. Farmland runoff and sewage discharge are harming the river’s ecosystem.
We need to heighten the publicity of the river’s plight and put pressure on government agencies to take immediate remedial action. It is man’s pollution of our river that is the cause. That’s why we’ve joined forces with a group of organisations including Cardiff University, the Environment Agency, the Wye and Usk Foundation and Friends of the Upper Wye in the creation of our Citizen Science Project to log weekly samples from the whole River Wye catchment area. Around 400 volunteers provide data which shows that 72 -73% of phosphate pollution in the Wye Catchment comes from agriculture, more specifically from the vast concentration of intensive poultry units in the Wye Catchment. These large chicken farms (or IPUs) have resulted in thousands of tons of chicken litter (which is high in phosphate) being spread on farm land. We now need to work together on solutions and this action is needed today.