ANGLERS are calling for urgent action to prevent phosphate pollution from ‘killing’ the river Wye.

Ross-on-Wye Angling Club members, who have been monitoring the river over recent months, have found shocking levels of phosphates in the water.

Most of the 34 water samples they have taken since last July show phosphates content exceeded the maximum permitted level by a factor of four or five times.

Angler Peter Richardson, who is also head of ocean recovery at the Marine Conservation Society, said the findings are alarming.

“The river is very healthy at the moment. I’ve seen otters, kingfishers, herons, and a couple of species of egret.

“But it doesn’t take much for all those pollutants to have a sudden impact and the ecosystem to tip and really go downhill.”

Fellow angler Rob Leather said a healthy river is key for the local tourism industry.

“We get about five million tourists coming to Herefordshire every year, and it brings in £420m of revenue.

“You can bet your life that if we have a dead, green, sludgy river it won’t go down to well financially.

“The hospitality and tourism livelihoods are all at stake if this river dies.”


Plans to convert Herefordshire town barn into cottages

Herefordshire Council may probe public health impact of intensive chicken farms

Herefordshire town councillors query £6,000 quote for new CCTV

Angling Trust regional coordinator John Cheyne said the UK has very good laws to protect rivers, but they are not being enforced.

“The Government needs to prioritise funding to people like the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales to actually enforce the law and work with farms to make sure they are compliant.

“Nobody wants to see farmers taken to court unless as a last resort.

“But what we want is for them to be compliant with the law.”