COUNTRYFILE viewers were left outraged after a farmer revealed how chicken waste was one of the main causes of polluting the river.
Presenter Adam Henson spoke with a farmer during Sunday night’s episode of the BBC show about pollution in the River Wye.
The River Wye spans approximately 250 kilometers from its origin on Plynlimon in mid Wales to the Severn estuary, making it the fourth longest river in the UK.
Along a significant portion of its route, it acts as a boundary between England and Wales.
The Wye Valley is recognized as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
In the episode, the presenters met volunteers doing conservation work on the River Wye, including creating a 30-acre wetland to harbour some of the river’s most cherished wildlife.
However, viewers were left fuming when they learned how chicken waste was one of the main causes of polluting the river.
Adam encountered a farmer named Tony who is attempting to contribute towards the preservation of the river.
In the segment, Adam began: “Phosphates aren’t the only pollutant present on farms, and this work has to go hand in hand with good landscape management that can reduce river pollution from both chemical and biological sources.
“And Tony’s farm shows how it can be done, over 50 years, he’s completely reshaped his farm to manage agricultural runoff, replanting hedges and keeping farming away from the riverbanks allowing nature to help keep pollution in check.
“What Tony and his neighbours have been doing gets results, but this is just one tributary and it’s clear that as an industry, all of us need to chip in if we’re going to clean up our act.”
The presenter then asked: “What would be your deep-seated frustration?”
Tony answered: “It’s a lack of managing the rules and regulations that are in place.
“They need policing properly, so those that aren’t doing the right thing are made to do the right thing. That could make quite a difference.”
Taking to Twitter, one viewer fumed: “The biggest polluter of the River Wye was confirmed as chicken farm waste.
“Why are they allowing so many poultry units?? #countryfile I think they will only talk about the problem. Kicking the can down the road as always…”
Another wrote: “Yes, I’m watching @BBCCountryfile and I’m horrified that reducing phosphate levels is voluntary!!!
“Poultry companies, water companies and government are ALL killing our rivers! #shameful.”
A third penned: “@BBCountryfile I’m fuming. It’s all talk and no action. The biggest chicken breeder is “looking into ways to improve chicken poo”.
“They farm 16 million of the 20 million. Cheap chicken has to stop. That’s the answer.”
Countryfile airs Sundays at 6pm on BBC One and available on iPlayer.