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Celebrities add their voices to fears over growing pollution in the river Wye

13 Jun 2022 2 minute read
Celebrities Stephen Fry (left) and Monty Don are among those concerned about damaging pollution in the river Wye.

Gavin McEwan, local democracy reporter

Prominent celebrities have added their voices to concern over the pollution in the river Wye.

Linking to an article on the river in last Friday’s Guardian, author and broadcaster Stephen Fry told his 12.4 million Twitter followers: “Wye oh Wye – read and weep.”

Meanwhile, Gardeners’ World presenter and Herefordshire resident Monty Don, also retweeting the piece, wrote: “It is appalling that this is condoned. It has stop.

“Factory farming is turning this beautiful British river into an open sewer.”

In the article, journalist and campaigner George Monbiot argues that the Wye “is on the brink” due to pollution from the large numbers of chicken “factories” now operating in Herefordshire and Powys.

The £1 million-a-year profits these can generate “might help to explain the intimidation and vandalism reported to me by some of the local people who object to them”, Monbiot writes.

One such local quoted in the piece fears that “someone’s going to get firebombed or shot” as a consequence.

Consultation on the latest bid to create a 215,000-bird intensive chicken unit in Herefordshire, in Lower Hergest by the river Arrow, ends tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Hereford and South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman last week called in Parliament for a national recovery fund for rivers, funded by fines on polluters.

An “all-river strategy… might be a solution to the Wye’s problems”, he suggested.

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Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 years ago

Jesse Norman is just one of the 5 Tory MPs through whose constituencies the Wye flows. From source to sea it is a True Blue Tory river. Unless they, who are the UK government, change UK legislation to allow an “all-river strategy” on planning permissions nothing will change. Powys MUST grant PP for the hundreds of Intensive Poultry Units if the applications follow UK planning law, they cannot institute a ban on any specific industry. Mind you they do try to mitigate the effects by demanding that waste is dealt with by anaerobic digesters. Just a pity that the biggest… Read more »

2 years ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Bloody tories England should not be allowed our water. Build dams keep the water in Wales

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