River Wye's health downgraded amid wildlife decline

2023-05-30 16:46:46  • 2 mins

The health rating of River Wye has been downgraded by Natural England after a decline in important species.

Conservationists worried by the reclassification say without urgent action the waterway will not recover.

The Wye runs between England and Wales and is home to species such as Atlantic salmon and white-clawed crayfish.

Intensive farming and sewage pollution have caused algal blooms which deprive wildlife of oxygen, say campaigners.

Natural England said the updated status, from "unfavourable recovering" to "unfavourable declining", was the result of a longstanding deterioration in the Wye and its tributary, the River Lugg.

While assessors found water quality to be stable, salmon, macrophytes and native crayfish had declined, resulting in the river as a whole being reclassified.

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