TELEVISION personality Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Green Party candidate Ellie Chowns are set to attend mass swim and water quality testing event in River Wye. 

Today, June 26, Hugh and Dr Chowns will be collecting water samples from the River Wye to test for phosphates before encouraging crowds to brave the cold waters of the river in a mass wild swim event. 

Hugh is no stranger to wild swimming, having taken the plunge back in 2011 on the Veg Series of River Cottage.  

But why the Wye? In May 2023, Natural England downgraded the Wye's ecological status from ‘unfavourable-improving’ to ‘unfavourable-declining’. 

The increase in phosphate levels have reduced the diversity of aquatic plants driving down oxygen levels and causing harm to salmon and other fish species. Government figures say that 72-74% of the phosphate pollution in the Wye comes from agricultural land.  

Hugh and Dr Chowns will not only be conducting water quality tests but will address and share the findings of these tests with the crowd. 

The event will take place at the Tresseck campsite in Hoarwithy where the Wye is easily accessible by all. Testing and speeches will start at 1.30pm with the mass swim set to commence shortly after with the Green Party encouraging locals to come and immerse themselves in the waters of the River Wye.