Communities join to defend their river by ‘Walking the Wye’

Avatar for Dilys Merry
By Dilys Merry
13th August 2021

We were delighted to be part of the month-long ‘Walking the Wye’ campaign – a journey from top to bottom of the river by a relay of walkers. Running all the way through July, the walk succeeded in joining communities, raising awareness and calling people to action.

The pilgrimage started at the source of the Wye on Pumlumon and ended at the meeting of the Wye and the Severn below Chepstow. Each team of walkers handed over a bottle of pure water collected from the source to the next group. Handover events took place at key points along the route, celebrating our beautiful river but also highlighting the river’s badly polluted state and the threat of ecological collapse.

The many events included the live screening at Hay of the world’s first live documentary, Rivercide, presented by George Monbiot (a must-see if you are concerned about the health of our rivers). There was also a picnic at Castle Green in Hereford and a People’s Assembly at Ross. CPRE Herefordshire’s Andrew McRobb spoke at three of the key handover events explaining the problem.

Our stand at Walking the Wye events
Our stand at Walking the Wye events | Andrew McRobb

We also held a stall launching our Citizen Science project working with scientists at Cardiff University to measure pollution in the catchment area.

How can we help the Wye and other rivers?

We’re calling for volunteer citizen scientists who will be taking water samples weekly from their local brook or river and this information will pinpoint the actual sources of pollution. You could make a real difference too, by joining up here!

Please write to your MP (bill.wiggin.mp@parliament.uk and jesse.norman.mp@parliament.uk in the Herefordshire area) so they’re in no doubt how concerned people are.

Sign the petition at riveractionuk.com

Foy church
Foy church Ian Lawrence