IN reference to the letter (Won’t risk river, April 13) that holds the current ‘Green’ coalition council responsible for the sad poisoned state of the Wye, I would like to present some facts.

As I understand it, Herefordshire Council has no power to stop the pollution as this is down to the Environment Agency and DEFRA. Last year, Herefordshire councillors voted to lobby Government to introduce a water protection zone to cover the Wye catchment, thus placing tighter restrictions on polluters, but ‘Sir Bill’ failed to support the bill to stop raw sewage being discharged into rivers.


The problems stem from lack of investment in maintaining and modernising Welsh Water’s infrastructures and Government cuts which have reduced regulation and inspection of agricultural activity resulting in failure to uphold the farming rules for water.

It should be the polluters who pay for their damage. The current council has done what it can and no new or expanded intensive poultry units have been given planning permission in Herefordshire since 2019.

The council has also introduced wetland planting to try and strip out pollution naturally. The anaerobic digester plant at Whitwick Manor, which is supported by Sir Bill, involves unproven technology, plus these digesters bring their own problems, such as growing monocultures to feed them and the subsequent overuse of pesticides which further pollute our rivers.

The Wye is still dying and we need urgent action to stop it.

Rather than demonise ‘the holier than thou religious fanatics’ we could all work together to pressurise our Government to introduce immediately the necessary stringent reforms.


Little Birch

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