THE campaign to improve water quality in the river Wye will be front and centre at a special event later this week.

The Wye July event organised by the Friends of the Lower Wye is being held on the green next to the Monnow Bridge in Monmouth on Sunday, July 10.

A host of local clubs, groups and organisations with a connection to the river and the Wye Valley have already signed up to be a part of the awareness event.

There will even be a specially brewed drink on offer for attendees.

The intention behind the event is to show how important the river is to both the people and the wildlife living alongside it.

Run-off from fields which have been spread with chicken manure is, according to the Friends of the Lower Wye, causing unprecedented damage to the river and its ecosystems.

Fields already saturated with nutrients are washed into the river provoking algal blooms, which in turn starve the river of oxygen.

Changing farming practices and land use are also increasing soil loss in the river catchment.

The Friends say that habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity is being witnessed along almost the entire length of the river.

Among those attending Wye July include Gwent Wildlife, Woodlands Trust, AONB to The Meadows group, Monmouth Rotary Club, SARA river rescue and Monmouth Angling Club.

Wye Valley Meadery will even be launching a new special beer 'Wye' just for the event.

There will be wood-fired pizza, a kids corner and art from the valley along with poetry and music.

The event will commence with a procession from the Shire Hall at 10.45am.

Mike Dunsbee and Nick Day, founders of Friends of the Lower Wye said: “It’s important that the authorities and both Welsh and English governments see that people do love the river and valley.

"It’s time that these people make a decision to act before it’s too late.

"The river is being polluted in the main by agriculture. We have to work with the farmers and land owners plus the major chicken companies to have the manure taken out of the catchment area.

"We believe that all farms that have land that runs down to the river should become regenerative. We know it works and is profitable for the farmers."