HIGHLIGHTING the pollution problems facing the river Wye will be the aim of a month-long pilgrimage in July.

The group of environmental campaigners planning the pilgrimage said urgent action was needed to save the 155-mile river Wye and its tributaries, such as the river Lugg.

It said its members would be walking from the Wye's source in mid Wales to the Severn estuary, taking a bottle of water on the journey.

They said taking water from the source would highlight the issues of chemicals, sewage, manure, plastics and invasive plants which get into the water.

Earlier this year, concerns were raised about the phosphate levels in the river near Ross-on-Wye, which came Herefordshire Council put a stop to new building projects getting underway in the Lugg catchment due to the same issue.

The group said algal blooms, caused by excessive levels of phosphates and nitrates, were multiplying in the river and key species of plants and animals were in decline.

Maria Duggan from the Golden Valley, one of the co-ordinators of the month-long pilgrimage which ends on July 31, said, "The aim of the Walking with The Wye project is to bring communities together to defend and celebrate these rivers, to raise public awareness of current threats and to inspire action."

Each day's walk will cover around five miles, with groups or individuals handing over the source water from one point to the next, like the Olympic torch.

The group said most of the journey would be on foot, but canoeists, cyclists, horse riders and swimmers could also be involved.

It was also planning various events at key places on the route, including Hay-on-Wye, Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Lydbrook and Chepstow.

Ms Duggan added: "We have a core group of walkers and planners located at different points along the Wye, but we need more people to help us raise awareness and bring communities together to save the health of our beautiful rivers."