A TV gardening show host has slammed riverbank destruction in Herefordshire as heartbreaking, after pictures revealed extensive damage to the river Lugg.

Monty Don, who lives in Herefordshire and host the BBC show Gardeners' World, said the scene of what has been described as a "crime against the enviroment" by the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust is just a few miles from his home.

Mr Don, whose garden is near Ivington, Leominster, said: "This is just a few miles from Longmeadow.

"It breaks my heart but is all too-typical of the ignorance, arrogance and sheer wanton destruction of those privileged to care for our countryside."

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust has not yet confirmed where the scene of the destruction is, but said it hopes for a prosecution over the “bulldozing” of the mile-long (1.5km) stretch of the river.

The trust said all bankside and riverside habitats have been “completely obliterated” after the river and its banks were “bulldozed, straightened and reprofiled into a sterile canal”.

Wildlife affected by the damage includes crayfish, otters and salmon, lampreys and dragonflies and a host of rare river wildlife, the HWT added.

The trust said the River Lugg, a designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, would be a “test case” for the Government’s commitment to strengthen wildlife protection.