Concerns about the level of pollution in the River Wye in Powys have been raised by a party leader in Westminster.

Acting leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Ed Davey MP raised his concerns following a recent report by the Wye and Usk Foundation that warned the river was facing an "ecological disaster".

He is now calling for Powys County Council, along with the Welsh and UK Governments, to draw up an action plan.

“Our natural environment is precious and there is none more precious than Wales’ beautiful River Wye," Sir Ed said in the House of Commons last month.

"I have very fond memories of youth hostelling along the River Wye with school friends and it is a vital resource to both the natural environment and the economy in Wales.

“We clearly need to see an action plan drawn up between Powys County Council and the Welsh and UK Governments that protects this beautiful river, the tourist economy that it sustains and supports the farming community that is helping feed the nation.”

The Wye and Usk Foundation said it believes that a large volume of phosphate, which acts as fertilizer, entering the Wye is contributing to more severe blooms of algae – and says this may relate to the increasing number of chicken farms in Powys.

However, the National Farmers Union said the claims had left farmers "feeling scarred and hurt that an organisation with whom they have worked in partnership for many years on fencing off watercourses and other measures to enhance water quality, could issue such a reckless and damaging statement."

Powys County Council has been approached for comment.