HCPRE and the Wye Catchment Partnership

Photograph showing an algal bloom settled on the bed of the River Llynfi by Antonia Salter,

Herefordshire CPRE attended a meeting organised by the Wye Catchment Partnership on 26th November as part of our ongoing support to stop pollution on the River Wye’s.  A long term study by Leeds and Lancaster University was presented called Rephokus which has investigated the phosphorous (P) levels found on and in the land around the Wye Catchment and its impact on the River Wye.  P is a significant pollutant of the Wye which mainly attributed to agricultural runoff. The study also sought similar data from two other rivers in the UK.

Preliminary and unpublished data already indicates the predicament Herefordshire finds itself in due to soil type, agriculture practice and the impact of changing weather patterns with more intense rainfall.  This has been compounded by soil compaction and a legacy of input of P being greater than the crop P output.

The science unquestionably starts to point to a unique problem in Herefordshire.  The science is complex and thus any solutions will not be easy.  However, all concerned parties believe that we must work together to find effective solutions or risk losing a fantastic river ecosystem.  HCPRE are committed to working with all interested parties and to lobby for action.