Study on River Wye pollution presented

30th November 2020

A study on phosphorous pollution was presented at a meeting run by the Wye Catchment Partnership.

As part of our ongoing support to stop pollution on the River Wye, we attended a meeting organised by the Wye Catchment Partnership on 26 November 2020. A long-term study by Leeds and Lancaster University, called Rephokus, was presented which has investigated the phosphorous (P) levels found on and in the land around the Wye Catchment and its impact on the River Wye. Phosphorous is a significant pollutant of the Wye which is 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Preliminary and unpublished data already indicates the predicament Herefordshire finds itself in due to soil type, agriculture practice and the impact of changing weather patterns with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 phosphorous being greater than the crop phosphorous 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.  We are committed to working with all interested parties and to lobby for action.

Algal boom on the bed of the River Llynfi
Algal boom on the bed of the River Llynfi Antonia Salter