TWO charities to receive money from Heineken after the brewing giant polluted a Hereford brook have explained what the cash is being spent on.
The Environment Agency accepted an offer of £160,000 for an enforcement undertaking from Heineken UK- £150,000 went to the Wye and Usk foundation while £10,000 was given to the Yazor, Widemarsh and Eign Brooks restoration project.
The enforcement came after a container of ammonia-contaminated water was emptied into a surface water drain at the Bulmer’s cider plant.
This was connected to the Widemarsh Brook and led to the death of bullhead, minnows, juvenile Chub and Dace.
The restoration project is being led by Richard Fishbourne. He said the money will help create a forum to represent the ongoing management of the watercourses, support volunteer groups and work with partnership organisations.
Simon Evans, chief executive of The Wye and Usk Foundation, said the £150,000 they will receive is being used to employ people to work with farmers in eastern Herefordshire to help them work in a way that reduces their impact on water by keeping the soil in the fields.
The overall project costs £870,000 and has been ongoing for a number of years.
He said: “What we are trying to deal with are over-extraction, too much soil getting into our water, too much phosphate getting into our water, and too many pesticides getting in our water.
“When I say water I mean the Wye, the Lugg and their tributaries.
“To do that we are targeting 12 catchment areas in the eastern Lugg and middle Wye.”
They are also working in partnership with Natural England to ensure the existing Countryside Stewardship scheme goes into the places where it is going to have a better impact for the farms and the water.
Mr Evans added: “The principal problem that is affecting the Wye is the diffuse pollution from agriculture.”