Environmental tragedy on the River Lugg

8th December 2020

The bulldozing of a mile-long stretch of the protected River Lugg has been described as a crime against the environment.

The bankside and riverside habitats have been completely destroyed in this designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.

All bankside vegetation, shrubs and trees have been removed leaving nothing but mud. We also understand the river has had its gravel spawning beds dredged and the river straightened thus increasing river flow rate which will impact on potential flooding further down river.

All agencies and associations are now calling for swift and punitive action against the person or persons responsible for this wanton act of vandalism. At this time, it is not known why this destructive action was taken. This will be a vital test of our government’s commitment to protect the environment.

It is suggested the environmental impact on the ecosystem of the Lugg will take decades to recover. There is also a strong possibility that water and silt runoff from farmland will now be even more aggressive and, as a result, phosphorous pollution will increase even further in the Lugg. The removed vegetation would have slowed top soil erosion into the river. The actions that have taken place on the Lugg fly in the face of the government’s recently announced Environmental Land Management Scheme.

It has been reported that this is considered a very serious incident and the Environment Agency are on the scene and West Mercia Police are assisting the investigation.

We are currently campaigning on issues relating to pollution in the Wye catchment and this is yet another example of destruction and pollution caused by rogue land owners. It is time a community voice was heard to ensure the authorities do take firm and decisive action. For too long pollution has been ignored in Herefordshire’s rivers. We ask all members of the public to help us protect Herefordshire.

Bulldozed section of the River Lugg
Bulldozed section of the River Lugg Andrew McRobb