Volunteers from a local environmental campaign group looking to protect the River Usk were in Abergavenny recently testing the river for levels of pollution.

‘Save the River Usk’ is a group of volunteers campaigning to improve the water quality of the River Usk.

A report by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) from February 2022, found that the River Usk had the highest incidence of phosphate pollution among Wales’ nine river Special Areas of Conservation.

Fertiliser run-off from agriculture, human and animal waste and industrial effluent have been linked as causes of high phosphate levels in rivers.

As part of their efforts to help protect the River, ‘Save the River Usk’ volunteers have set up a crowdfunding page to purchase testing equipment and gather data that can be used to determine levels of pollution within the river.

Volunteers met up in Abergavenny on Saturday October 22 along with ‘Save the River Usk’ Chair Angela Jones to use some of the new testing equipment purchased through the crowd-funding, with volunteers being trained on how to use the equipment to test the river for harmful pollutants.

Angela Jones is a wild swimmer and environmental campaigner who has been campaigning for several years to protect the River Wye and Usk.

Speaking on the group’s Facebook page, Save the River Usk Chair Angela Jones said: “We would like to thank everyone for their generous donations.

“We can now start to purchase essential items for the “Save our River Usk” campaign! We are purchasing 6 complete water testing kits and replacement agents for kits to keep up and running and also a small amount will go towards an awareness raising video for schools and community groups.

“Thank you so much to all our new volunteers who turned up in wet and wild Abergavenny to become Guardians of our river. Data is crucial in holding polluters to account, and together we will bring change.”