Herefordshire Council has set up a Cabinet Commission for Restoring the Wye.

The Commission was formed to investigate options for restoring the River Wye, which is currently under protection through a Nutrient Management Plan. The conclusion reached is that the present voluntary activities do not provide the protection and actions needed to prevent further deterioration and will not deliver river restoration.

Agriculture is assessed as contributing more than 70 per cent of the phosphate pollution in the river catchment, and as such, the Commission recommends exploring other forms of regulatory and monitoring schemes for farming practices, as a matter of urgency, to rule them in or out as viable solutions to deliver certainty for the river. Discussions have been taking place with representatives of the farming community about these schemes for some months.

The Commission also proposes testing out the idea of implementing a Water Protection Zone.

The Commission will report further to Herefordshire Council Cabinet in July when the viable options hope to be much clearer.

Herefordshire Council has set aside £480,000 to ensure the work to progress a solution for the river can continue during 2023.