Protecting Our Local Rivers from Pollution by Industrial Farming

The pollution of the Wye this summer by farms have been widely reported on by national and local media.
Now concerned residents of the Golden Valley in Herefordshire are crowdfunding to take on Herefordshire County Council

On 3 June 2020, Herefordshire County Council gave its approval to a planning application for the expansion of large agricultural sheds at Bage Court Farm in Dorstone. This decision failed to consider the environmental and ecological impacts of the development on the River Dore. The Dore, which is a tributary of the Monnow, is in the River Wye Special Area of Conservation (SAC) catchment. The rivers in the SAC are already severely ecologically stressed, in large part because of pollution from intensive poultry and livestock farming. In this instance the decision by Herefordshire County Council Planning Committee has failed to take account of the Council’s duty to protect them.


There has been a long history of successful community opposition to intensive agricultural developments at this farm. The new application for permission to erect another large shed on a site which is increasingly densely populated with large agricultural buildings must be considered as a further attempt to develop intensive livestock farming by stealth at this farm.

Moreover, this case is happening at the entrance to the Golden Valley, where the water courses feed into the iconic River Wye. Algal bloom from agricultural run-off has significantly altered the ecology of the SAC. Experts have told us that this bloom has ‘’eradicated one of the principal habitats, namely Ranunculus, from the bottom 70 miles of river” and that the rate of impact is ‘exponential.’ This, in turn, threatens many other species who depend on the rivers, including otters, white clawed crayfish and salmon.  Click here to read more

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