Concerns have been raised by campaign groups after reports that ‘algal blooms’ have been spotted on a section of the River Wye, earlier than seen ever before.

The CPRE Herefordshire – Countryside Charity posted the following update on Facebook on Sunday:

“We have been notified by the River Wye Preservation Trust of algal bloom already appearing on the River Wye at Sellack.

“This is possibly the earliest ever record in the year of algal bloom and has occurred after a few warm and sunny days in March.

“It is of considerable concern as it is already cutting out light and is covering new plant growth and gravel beds where fish breed as the bloom sinks. Algal bloom is not fully understood within the scientific world as there are so many types that fall under this heading.

“It is not just the bloom that spreads across the water surface but also particulate suspension which is what we see here turning the water green when it should be clear. One cause often cited is when nutrient run off from fields feeds into our rivers. Much more research is needed and this is one of the reasons CPRE Herefordshire have embarked on our Citizen Science project to help find out where nutrients originate.

“Very many thanks for the vigilance of the River Wye Preservation Trust for spotting this so early in the season. More warm and sunny periods may produce more algal bloom and further impact on the Wye ecosystem causing even more damage to our river.”

Interested in the future of the River Wye? You can join the SaveTheWye Facebook Group – SaveTheWye | Facebook

“SaveTheWye is an umbrella campaign to support and build the network of organisations and individuals working to protect and restore the health of the River Wye and its tributaries, for the benefit of both wildlife and people.”