Campaign launched to reduce agricultural river pollution in Wales

A new campaign has been launched to reduce agricultural pollution after figures show an increase of incidents in rivers.

Farmers attend one of the events to learn more about preventing pollution

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said last year saw the highest number of incidents in Welsh rivers in recent years.

In Carmarthenshire, anglers captured slurry flowing down a rural road.

Alex Young, chairman of Abergwili Anglers Club, said it was “sickening, you can see the pollution, smell it.”

“It’s not just affecting the river, it’s flowing into the estuary and then out to sea,” he said.

Anglers filmed slurry flowing down a rural road. Pic: Abergwili Anglers Club

Pollution from farm based activities often impacts on the local environment, including normally rivers or other water courses.

Farming Connect has been launched in an effort to reduce agricultural pollution, bringing together different bodies including Welsh Water, NRW farming unions and the Welsh Government.

They are visiting 33 farms across the country to offer support and advice to farmers to reduce the number of pollution incidents.

Sara Jenkins, a mentor, said: “The campaign will focus on supporting farmers to take action to prevent pollution through the improved management of manures, slurries and soils and a reduction in the use of c Marcus Ferraro, a dairy farmer at Sychpant Farm near Newcastle Emlyn, said he was already struggling to survive in the industry and would find it hard to get extra money to invest in pollution prevention measures.

“The changes can only happen with proper funding. If people want good quality food, they’re going to have to pay for it.”

Ioan Williams, from NRW ,said: “We need to reassure them [farmers] that there is specialist advice on hand to improve their practices.”

New regulations come into force in January and are designed to tighten the rules surrounding storage and spreading of slurry on farms.

The Welsh Government said the changes were essential to reduce pollution water.hemicals such as pesticides”.

Source: BBC News 7th August 2019