BBC wildlife presenter Kate Humble has lent her voice to the growing concerns over the pollution and mismanagement of the River Wye and Usk.
In a social media post, Angela Jones, also known as the Wild Woman of the Wye, thanked Kate Humble for her support in the campaign against pollution caused by Dŵr Cymru (Welsh Water) and poor agricultural practices. She also called out the lack of enforcement by regulators Natural Resources Wales.
In response, Kate Humble acknowledged the hard work of Angela Jones and the volunteers fighting for the recovery of the rivers.
She said: “I want to say a heartfelt thanks to Angela Jones and all the volunteers who are doing incredible work to raise our awareness of the sorry state of our very beautiful rivers, the Wye and the Usk.”
Kate Humble expressed her concern over the pollution levels caused by runoff and poor management by Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh water companies. She urged everyone who can offer support to join the cause and protect these vital river systems.
Earlier this month, environmental campaigners took to the streets, donning costumes as judges, rats, and chickens to draw attention to the plight of the River Wye. Protests have been occurring along the river, highlighting its polluted state on several national TV shows.
A recent protest in Chepstow saw campaigners marching through the streets and distributing leaflets outside the town’s Tesco store.
Protesters also targeted High Town in Hereford, home to Avara Foods, which protestors claim contributes to the river’s phosphate pollution by sponsoring large-scale chicken farming upriver.
Using street theatre, “Lady Wye” put Avara Foods and its US parent company Cargill “in the dock.” Protests also took place outside Tesco in Bewell Street and the Avara Foods factory, led by a samba procession. Lady Wye stated that she would bring to “the court of public opinion” evidence that Cargill has known for years about the potential damage of intensive poultry units near riverbanks.
Marches Climate Action (MCA) spearheaded the campaign, with a silent group of “Red Rebels” mourning the “impending loss of the treasured ecosystem.” This protest follows a US court ruling that found Cargill responsible for polluting the River Illinois in a similar manner to the Wye, ordering them to pay compensation.