Live-broadcast documentary from the Wye investigates our rivers

By Dilys Merry
16th July 2021

This week George Monbiot presented a shocking and hard-hitting investigation, titled “Rivercide”, into the state of our rivers. He spoke live from beside and on our very own River Wye which featured prominently. You can watch at any time by clicking this link.

The crowd-funded investigation aimed to find out “who is polluting our watercourses and why we’re not stopping them”. The world’s first live documentary, the film streamed in real-time on a sunny Wednesday evening.

Environment Agency figures published last September tell us that not one lake or river in England is in good health.

Unsurprisingly, the main guilty parties are animal manure and untreated sewage. However, more surprising is the inaction when illegal pollution events happen. We found out there are probably 20 million chickens being kept in the Upper Wye and Herefordshire catchment area!

All over the country our rivers and their wildlife are in grave danger, with phosphate pollution often feeding massive growths of algae. These ‘algal blooms’ then blanket the fish spawning beds, smother the water plants and turn the rivers into ‘pea soup’. Just 4 minutes into the film (click here to view), aerial photographs show the awful damage caused by the algal blooms in June 2020, with striking before and after shots.

We can make a difference

It’s not all bad news however. The film talks to local people up and down the country who are coming to the rescue of their local rivers and tells us what we can do too. Can you help by:-

With your help we can make change happen!


Foy bridge over the River Wye
Foy Bridge over the River Wye Ian Lawrence