Griff Rhys Jones says Welsh rivers ‘under siege’ as slurry spill leaves river by his holiday home ‘stinking of excrement’
Griff Rhys Jones has declared that Wales’ rivers are “under siege” and called for action as a suspected slurry spill left a river by his holiday home dead of life and “stinking of excrement”.
The Welsh actor warned that “human waste and the slurry from intensive farming is swilling into our major rivers” and that the spill had “seemed to have wiped out the entire eco-system”.
He was alerted to the spill near his holiday cottage near Trefasser which he had bought 17 years before in order to restore.
When he arrived he found “carnage” as almost all the life in the pond had been wiped out.
“They were all dead,” he told the Daily Mail. “The slurry had deoxygenated the entire lake. How much of this muck had been washed in?”
He said that the dead river life included very rare eels. “I had never seen this protected species here before,” he said. “They are rapidly becoming a worldwide rarity. In the past 40 years, the number of eels arriving in Europe has fallen by around 95 per cent.”
He added that he contacted Natural Resources Wales but that they could do little to find out who was behind the alleged dumping.
“As I walked along its devastated length that weekend, I found myself struck by the paradox of all this,” he said. “What is the point of organic farming and hedgerow policies on the one hand, if we are unable to control the excesses that can destroy it in an instant on the other?
“Human waste and the slurry from intensive farming is swilling into our major rivers. It has been reported by The Rivers Trust that only 14 per cent of our rivers meet clean water standards.
“We ought to be doing more. But even as we loudly trumpet organic farming and rewilding and eco-policy and natural virtues from all sides and in every magazine, we are actively getting worse.
“It is clear we have the will. How are we going to take action?”