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It has been exactly one year since we successfully launched a campaign calling for urgent action to save the River Wye from irreversible damage caused by agricultural pollution.  Twelve months on, we reflect on some of the highlights of our campaign thus far.

This week marks exactly one year since the successful launch of our campaign to save the River Wye – targeting polluting industries whose dramatic proliferation across the Wye catchment is now recognised as one of the prime causes of the desperate recent environmental collapse of the river. Working closely with other NGOs, activists and local communities, we have achieved significant progress in building public and political awareness of this environmental scandal. Here are some of our highlights:

River Action was the first to expose the intensive poultry industry supply chain and force major producers to admit culpability

We engaged positively with farming and food industry businesses, including Noble Foods, Avara Foods and Tesco, to inform and influence change in industrial practices. This effort has led to Avara Foods, which has 120 supplying farms within the River Wye catchment, admitting culpability for their part in polluting the River Wye.

River Action led a coalition of 20 NGOs from the Wye valley in support of our plan

We led a coalition of 20 NGOs, activists and environmental leaders from the Wye valley to call on Government officials – including then Environment Minister Rebecca Pow – to pursue the implementation of our plan.

River Action raised over £34,000 for Citizen Science projects

Thanks to our supporters, we were delighted to have raised over £34k for the Wye valley’s  citizen scientists. These funds secured the procurement of river pollution testing equipment for hundreds of volunteers across the Wye catchment to gather evidence of agricultural pollution.

We have also been able to fund Radnorshire Wildlife Trust to hire an analyst to collate and analyse the data compiled by various citizen scientist groups across the Wye catchment.

River Action Supported Local Activists

River Action is fast becoming the go-to charity for local activists as we help them mobilise in the most efficient and impactful way.

For the past twelve months we have been supporting Angela Jones, the ‘Wild Woman of the Wye’, on her campaign in raising awareness about the desperate state of the River Wye:

  • We provided Angela with a PR plan to launch her summer 2022 campaign that included press release and social media guidance
  • We provided Angela with legal advice via our partners the Environmental Law Foundation to protect her from potential litigation from polluters that she was openly targeting.
  • We provided Angela with funding to procure creative assets including a giant floating ‘Crappy Egg’ egg carton that was integral to the campaign

What’s next?

Working closely with other NGOs and activists we have achieved significant progress in building public and political awareness of this environmental scandal. But action is still not happening fast enough. And some of the biggest poo-luters are yet to take responsibility. 

With the cause of the problem established, it is now critical that the plan is adopted in full by all those responsible  as a matter of the utmost urgency.  We are continuing to call out those who fail to take action and are campaigning for the implementation of specific solutions that are urgently needed to save this iconic British river from irreparable damage.

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