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Case update 02 June 2023

UPDATE: Appeal we have been supporting to protect the dying River Wye/Afon Gwy refused permission by Supreme Court

Stephanie Barraclough / Shutterstock

We are disappointed the Supreme Court has refused permission to bring an appeal we have been supporting against a new livestock development on the banks of a tributary of the River Wye/Afon Gwy. This means that this legal case cannot go any further. 

Make no mistake, this is a tragedy for the River Wye/Afon Gwy, which is dying due to the devastating impacts of agricultural pollution from intensive farming. 

Only this week, we saw Natural England downgrade the health status of the river to “unfavourable-declining”. In other words, things are moving very quickly in the wrong direction for one of our most beautiful and precious waterways.

One of the latest threats has come from Herefordshire Council’s decision back in 2020 to approve the expansion of Bage Court farm next to the River Dore/Afon Aur which forms part of the wider Wye Catchment. 

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Frustratingly, previous hard-fought efforts of campaigners to overturn the council’s decision and stop the scheme from going ahead– led by local resident, David Sahota – were unsuccessful in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. 

Good Law Project was asked to provide support, after the Court of Appeal decision, for the campaign group’s attempt to appeal to the Supreme Court. It has been generously supported by ecologist Dale Vince and others across the country keen to put a stop to the poisoning of our rivers.

We are very grateful for the support. We will put the unused funds – the majority of the sum raised – to continue to work to protect our rivers and seas. We will anxiously look to find further cases to protect the Wye/Gwy, in particular.

We are not going to give up on our fight against the huge damage being wrought by industrial-scale pollution from intensive farming and sewage dumping. You can find out more about other legal challenges we are currently supporting on this issue here.