Countryfile fans rage ‘fuming watching this’ over ‘shameful’ chicken waste segment | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV


Countryfile presenters Matt Baker and Anita Rani were back on Sunday night where they met volunteers doing conservation work on the River Wye, including creating a 30-acre wetland to harbour some of the river’s most cherished wildlife. Meanwhile, Adam Henson met the farmer trying to do his bit to save the river, while Tom Heap investigated why the Wye has been allowed to decline close to the point of being declared ecologically dead.

However, one segment left viewers fuming when Adam discussed how chicken waste was one of the causes of polluting the river.

He later spoke with a farmer called Tony about how he was doing his part to try and prevent the pollution.

The presenter began: “Phosphates aren’t the only pollutant present on farms, and this work has to go hand in hand with good landscape management that can reduce river pollution from both chemical and biological sources.

“And Tony’s farm shows how it can be done, over 50 years, he’s completely reshaped his farm to manage agricultural runoff, replanting hedges and keeping farming away from the riverbanks allowing nature to help keep pollution in check.”

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Adam continued: “What Tony and his neighbours have been doing gets results, but this is just one tributary and it’s clear that as an industry, all of us need to chip in if we’re going to clean up our act.”

Turning to the farmer, the presenter asked: “What would be your deep-seated frustration?”

Tony replied: “It’s a lack of managing the rules and regulations that are in place.

“They need policing properly, so those that aren’t doing the right thing are made to do the right thing. That could make quite a difference.”

The episode certainly sparked a strong reaction from viewers, with many airing their shock at how polluted the River Wye was.

One of the main causes of the pollution was the high number of poultry units located near the river.

While some viewers were angered by this, others felt sorry for the chickens.

Twitter user @seasylvia2005 raged: “We are looking into it, we are hopeful, we are monitoring it, there’s no easy fix, farmers “could” adopt different methods, that should fix it then…River Wye dies in the meantime. Fuming watching this BS.” (sic)

@seasylvia2005 fumed: “The biggest polluter of the River Wye was confirmed as chicken farm waste. Why are they allowing so many poultry units?? #countryfile I think they will only talk about the problem. Kicking the can down the road as always…”

While @Joannemh shared: “Those poor chickens #countryfile.”

@BarkerLeadershp added: “Yes, I’m watching @BBCCountryfile and I’m horrified that reducing phosphate levels is voluntary!!! Poultry companies, water companies and govmnt are ALL killing our rivers! #shameful.” (sic)

@AmandaTBurt shared: “Come on people, killing a river, FFS. Shame on all those involved. #RiverWye #countryfile.” (sic)

“@BBCCountryfile I’m fuming. It’s all talk and no action. The biggest chicken breeder is “looking into ways to improve chicken poo”.

“They farm 16 million of the 20 million. Cheap chicken has to stop. That’s the answer,”@seasylvia2005 complained.

However, some viewers seemed to love the episode, with @JayneUni tweeting: “Thank you @BBCCountryfile for highlighting these issues. This isn’t good enough we need action now!”

Countryfile returns on Sunday at 6pm on BBC One.


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