Join our citizen science project to restore the River Wye to health

7th July 2021

Last summer the River Wye showed real signs of sickness – we saw algal blooms, the beautiful water crowfoot beds dwindling, reduced numbers of young waterfowl, fish dying off and spawning beds covered in green slime. It’s likely that pollution from two key sources is to blame – but with your help we can tackle the problem.

Both sewage and agricultural run-off will raise the nutrient levels in the river which then feed the algal blooms. In north Herefordshire we now have a halt on planning permissions until sewage treatment improves and the Environment Agency is giving advice to Herefordshire farmers on how to lessen run-off.

How you can help

But this is where your help is vital; we need to know more accurately and quickly what’s going on and where the pollution is coming from, including in the smallest rivers that feed into the Wye. Once we have enough data, regulatory bodies can take action to prevent more pollution feeding in to the precious River Wye ecosystem.

That’s why we’re joining forces with a group of organisations including Cardiff University, the Environment Agency, the Wye and Usk Foundation and Friends of the Upper Wye to log records from the whole catchment area and we’re looking for volunteers for this exciting citizen science project. You’ll be taking weekly water samples from a watercourse near you with a simple test kit and uploading your records. You don’t need any special skills or experience, just enthusiasm and a desire to protect our beautiful river. We’ll give you all the training and support you need and you’ll gain valuable skills while helping to keep our rivers clean. (And time on a riverbank is never wasted – time in nature and wildlife has such a beneficial effect on mood and who knows you could spot kingfishers or even the elusive otter!)

Join in now

A canoe on the River Wye
Canoeing on the Wye Ian Lawrence