The Crisis With Our Rivers – at Hay Festival

The Crisis With Our Rivers – at Hay Festival

At the main festival (Thursday 25th May to Sunday 4th June 2023) there is plenty to go for, but the big day for the River Wye is Wednesday 31st May.

SOS: What’s the Rescue Plan for the Wye?

  • Christine Hugh-Jones and Dr. Alison Caffyn present the CPRW / CPRE Wye Catchment Intensive Poultry Unit Map;
  • Impact of Factory-farmed Chicken, legal battles for the Wye and what we can learn from the Cargill poultry judgement in Oklahoma;
  • Wild Woman of the Wye – Angela Jones;
  • Oliver Bullough on Bathing Status;
  • Radnorshire Wildlife Trust;
  • Poetry, and more.

This is a free event organised by CPRW partners, Friends of the Upper Wye, on Wednesday 31st May from 2.00pm to 4.00pm.

It’s event number 211, in the Covered Area opposite the Food Hall. Just drop in; no need for tickets.

This is followed later that day by:

The Battle for Britain’s Rivers

Nicola Cutcher, an investigative journalist from Friends of the Upper Wye, interviews 3 experts:
Jyoti Bannerjee: co-founder of North Star Transition who launched the Wye-Usk Transition Lab;
Simon Evans: CEO of the Wye and Usk Foundation;
Tessa Wardley: communications and advocacy director at The Rivers Trust.

This is at 7.00pm on Wednesday 31st May, event number 224 on the Wales Stage. You will need a ticket for this event.

As well as these events, Friends of the Upper Wye will have an exhibition throughout the Hay Festival (25th May – 4th June), sharing information, data, maps, photography and art about the crisis on the River Wye. This will be at the Food Hall.

Take a look through the Hay Festival Event Program because there is lots more of interest: George Monbiot and Minette Batters, Isabella Tree of Knepp rewilding fame, and plenty of other talks and walks with countryside and environment themes.

CPRW Brecon & Radnor litter pick on 8th May

CPRW Brecon & Radnor litter pick on 8th May

Are you fed up with litter around our beautiful county? Do you want to help in the final push to get Presteigne’s newest nature reserve planted? CPRW Brecon & Radnor are joining with Coed Llanandras, Presteigne’s new area for nature recovery, to organise a litter-pick and tree-planting morning on Monday May 8th at 10.30am (till about 1pm). If you would like to take part (and do one or the other, or both) then come to our meeting point, the entrance to Coed Llanandras, opposite The Warden (Warden Road, Presteigne LD8 2NL). Wear stout shoes and bring water/flask of coffee. Cake will be provided. It would help us plan if you can let us know you are coming (but it’s not essential): email We look forward to seeing you!



NFU Cymru Brecon & Radnor County Chair, Sharon Hammond, interviewed by Paul Whitehouse in Our Troubled Rivers: Series 1 Episode 2. BBC 5th March 2023 “Anything we apply to the ground is not allowed to be less than three metres from the river…”

Sharon Hammond runs a 120,000 intensive broiler-chicken raising enterprise contracted with AVARA (merged Cargill and Faccenda UK poultry enterprise) at Upper Dollwynhir on the River Ithon in the catchment of the highly protected, but dying, RIVER WYE.

CPRW interactive Powys intensive poultry planning map shows this is one of many:

Sharon shows Paul a faint manure-spreading line in the grass very close to the river:

Sharon says: “anything we apply to the ground is not allowed to be less than three metres from the river…”

Paul says: “you see, that seems quite close to me, Sharon, now who decides that?”

Sharon says: “that is a Welsh Government Directive…”

Paul says: ‘to me the river looks dead…”

The Welsh Regulations say:

Welsh food & farming – what does the future hold? Bwyd a ffermio Cymru – beth sydd gan y dyfodol?

Welsh food & farming – what does the future hold? Bwyd a ffermio Cymru – beth sydd gan y dyfodol?

We are very pleased to announce that we’ve got a new date for CPRW’s postponed Welsh Food and Farming discussion event, details above. (You may download a PDF poster of this event by clicking here or on the image above.)

Come and join the discussion. What does sustainability mean in action and what can consumers and policy-makers do to support farmers as we make the transition towards a more sustainable food production system? Panellists will include Welsh Government talking about the Sustainable Farming Scheme and Peter Fox on his new Food (Wales) Bill. Also Patrick Holden, Sustainable Food Trust, and farmers and growers who will share the changes they are making – and the challenges they’re facing.

Do come along if you can. Please follow this link to Eventbrite for tickets – £5 in advance, £3 concessions on the door for farmers, food producers and under 30s, or £6/£4 on the door.

Mourning period

Mourning period

The members and Board of CPRW join the nation in mourning the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II yesterday evening.

As a mark of respect, all events will be CANCELLED in the period of National Mourning which concludes two days after the Burial on the 19th September.

This unfortunately includes the Welsh Food and Farming event that was due to take place in Knighton next weekend, on the 17th September. CPRW would like to thank all those that purchased tickets and those who were due to speak at the event.

This event will be rescheduled as soon as practically possible. We thank you for your understanding.

If you had already purchased tickets a full refund should have already been made through Eventbrite, if this is not the case, please contact




Has farming and food production ever faced so much uncertainty? We hope you can join us on the 17th September for a day of conversation around some of the pressing questions facing Welsh farming. The day will take the form of a series of panel discussions in which farmers/growers, food businesses, campaigning groups, policy makers and the wider public come together to exchange views and share the challenges facing us all of rising fuel & feed costs, food security, water scarcity… See programme below.

Tickets are available on the Eventbrite link Welsh food & farming – where do we go from here? Tickets, Sat 17 Sep 2022 at 09:00 | Eventbrite.

Programme as follows:

9.30am Farming with nature – how can we make sustainability pay? (moderator: Jenny Rouquette, Shropshire Good Food Partnership) Panellists: farmers Marc Jones, Hywel Morgan and Ben Taylor-Davies; Tony Little (Landworkers’ Alliance); Mick Westrip (Rhos Market Garden/Rhos Organic)

11.15am Policy reform and practical challenges – what’s changing and what needs to change? (moderator: Gary Mitchell, Food Policy Alliance Cymru) Dave Ashford from Welsh Government will talk about their Sustainable Farming Scheme proposals and Tyler Walsh about the new Wales Food Bill, together with Patrick Holden (CEO of the Sustainable Food Trust), Dennis Matheson (Tenant Farmers Association Cymru) and Holly Tomlinson (policy co-ordinator, Landworkers’ Alliance)

12.30–1.15pm Lunch

1.15–2.15pm Old ways/new ways – practical solutions and initiatives in the transition to a more sustainable food & farming system (moderator: farmer Ben Taylor-Davies) Panellists: representative from Black Mountains College; Ed Dickson (farmer/Wild by Nature); Emma Douglas (farmer/Pasture for Life); Marisa Heath (Small Abattoirs Task & Finish Group); Sorcha Lewis (farmer/Nature Friendly Farming Network); Rob Penn from Stump Up for Trees

2.35–3.45pm The bigger picture – Wales and global responsibility (moderator: James Hitchcock, CEO Radnorshire Wildlife Trust) Panellists: Rhys Evans (sustainable lead, Nature Friendly Farming Network); Kevin Rahman-Daultrey (Size of Wales); representative from World Wildlife Fund Cymru

3.45pm–4pm Conclusion & final thoughts

Registration is from 9am–9.15am. Tea and coffee will be provided. Lunch can be purchased on-site. The event will end no later than 4.15pm




CPRW Brecon & Radnor invite you to join us at our event ‘Welsh food and farming – where do we go from here?’. Speakers will include: local farmers and growers – RegenBen, Rhos Organics and Wild by Nature – and representatives from the Soil Association, Our Food, the Abattoir Sector Group, Young Farmers, the Nature Friendly Farming Network and Stump up for Trees and others.

Our farmers and growers are crucial to a UK-wide vision of a sustainable food system that produces healthy affordable food whilst protecting our natural environment. Come along to explore what sustainability means in practice and how we can find new directions for our rural economy that benefit farmers, consumers and our environment.

How can farmers make sustainability pay – what do they feel are the challenges and what needs to change? And what will Welsh Government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme proposals mean for the sector? The day will take the form of a series of panel discussions in which farmers/growers, food businesses, campaigning groups, policy makers and the wider public come together to exchange views.

For tickets go to:



An INVITATION from ‘Friends of the Upper Wye’ and some INFORMATION:

River people. Join us this SUNDAY, JULY 10TH at NOON at HAY CASTLE to hear our ‘Declaration on the State of the River’ read aloud from the steps above the market square. Flow with us through the castle gates for an afternoon of music, poetry, song, exhibitions, workshops and speakers.

Activities for children provided by Busy Bees nursery and Wild Play rangers from the Wildlife Trust – plus spell writing.

Vegan and vegetarian food by Lotus May and Planet and Plate. MacMan will be there, Shepherds Ice Cream too! Epicure will offer an outside bar.

Visit our exhibition in the Clore Space to see our film on the citizen scientists monitoring the Llynfi. Admire the work of local artists who draw their inspiration from the Wye and the creatures it sustains.

Our line up:

12 noon – Declaration on the State of the River

12.20 – Welcome by Friends of the Upper Wye

12.30 – Climate Choir sing for the river

1pm – Regenerative farmer Ben Taylor-Davies on saving our soils

1.15pm – Brothers Gillespie – folk music for the soul

2pm – Helen Stace to talk on the crisis facing the Wye and possible solutions

2.15pm – Fordsons Band – mountain music flowing with the river

3pm – Simon Evans from the Wye and Usk Foundation on their plans to save the Wye

3.15pm – Poetry with Jean Atkin, Robert Minhinnick, James Roberts and Owen Sheers

4.15pm – Oliver Bullough on our hopes of getting bathing water status for sites along the Wye

4.30pm – Slapping skins drum workshop and Clara helping us find our voices and bring energy to the fight to protect the river.

5.20pm – Closing remarks from Friends of The Upper Wye

5.30pm – Pamela Wyn Shannon and band play us out in style



Our rivers are in crisis. If you are interested in finding out more and joining the discussion do come along to the meeting on Friday 8th July in Leominster – details below. Other events are taking place over the coming weekend and more information will be posted tomorrow.

EAC report ‘Water Quality in Rivers’ & CPRW B&R Poultry & Planning Guide

EAC report ‘Water Quality in Rivers’ & CPRW B&R Poultry & Planning Guide

River Lugg by Sned Wood Photo credit: Gareth Rees-Roberts

The plight of the River Wye has been very much in the news, and on 13th January the (English) Environmental Audit Committee published an important report ‘WATER QUALITY IN RIVERS‘. There are clearly a number of pressures contributing to the deterioration of our rivers but the report summary contains the following statement about the Wye: ‘Intensive livestock and poultry farming is putting enormous pressure on particular catchments, such as the one feeding the River Wye. As many as twenty million chickens are being reared there and their waste may be raising the river’s phosphorus levels. Planning permission seems to be granted for individual units without any cumulative assessment being made of the overall impact of all the intensive farms in the area… New poultry farms should not be granted planning permission in catchments exceeding their nutrient budgets.

If you would like to add your voice to those expressing concern about local intensive pig and poultry applications, please see our POULTRY AND PLANNING GUIDE, which is intended as a quick guide to the environmental impacts of intensive pig and poultry developments and as a resource for use when responding to planning applications.