Is it us or have other people noticed the conflicting reports in the media lately, one week the rivers Wye and Lugg are so polluted that cygnets, salmon and all life in them is dying, an utter disgrace the blame firmly attributed to farmers.

Next week they are teeming with wildlife from otters to minnows with people encouraged to wild swim in them, but yet again you guessed it farmers are being blamed for destroying them.

We seemed to be the scapegoats – chickens responsible for water quality, cattle for climate change and wildlife the excuse for sensational, emotive headlines which then encourages others to get on their environmental high horse and make sweeping negative statements.

As usual when the true facts are revealed, they don’t make the headlines.

The Wye and Lugg have much lower average phosphate concentrations than renowned rivers like the Teme, Severn and Avon. The Wye rarely exceeds its level of 0.05.

A recordings graph by the Environment Agency A shows the improvement from 1993 to date, especially in the last 10 years.

Watercourses must be maintained to alleviate flooding, more important than ever with increased housing on floodplains.

Agriculture accounts for just under 10 per cent of GHG in this country but if you believe everything in the media you would assume it was nearer 90 per cent.

Most farmers regard themselves as custodians of the land, doing their best with ever changing rules and regulations.

Home grown food does not seem to be very high up on the political agenda, the theme coming from the press is of a wild, wooded landscape open to all with no evidence of polytunnels, glasshouses, cattle, sheep, pig or poultry buildings.

How very apt the saying out of sight, out of mind is, because it appears that certain parties leading the so-called green revolution would prefer to see all food imported rather than taint the British countryside with its production.

Speakman Family

Let us know what you think. Send your comments to