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Potential River Wye pollution claim

Leigh Day is investigating a potential claim against Avara Foods Limited (among others) over allegations that they polluted the River Wye.

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What is the potential River Wye pollution claim?

We are investigating potential claims on behalf of people affected by the pollution of the Wye. The poultry farming operations of Avara Foods Limited and other poultry and egg producers are believed to be polluting the river with phosphorus. 

Phosphorus pollution of the River Wye, believed to be caused by poultry farming, has resulted in algal blooms, including in some cases blue algae. 

Algal blooms negatively impact the River Wye’s health and the species that rely on it. Blue algal blooms are particularly dangerous to animals, including pets and livestock. Algae can also be unsightly, odorous, and result in insect swarms. 

Our research shows that communities surrounding the River Wye may have been affected by the following: 

  • Property values may have reduced. 
  • The value of rights over the river, such as fishing or boating rights, may have reduced.
  • Business owners who are reliant on or affected by the river might have suffered financial loss, for example:
    • Fishing/water sport/sport/activity providers. 
    • Commercial agriculture or fishing.
    • Pubs/restaurants/hotels bordering the river. 
    • Nature reserves. 
    • Car parks along the river.
  • Pets or livestock may be injured by blue algae. 
  • Use and/or enjoyment of other property rights over or near the river might have been affected, such as the enjoyment of a garden due to odour or insects. 
  • People with lifestyles or hobbies which are dependent on the river and/or the surrounding environment might otherwise have been particularly affected. 

Leigh Day has substantial expertise in a variety of water pollution claims. Our public law team have been working in parallel to protect the River Wye by holding the Environment Agency to account. The team recently won permission for a judicial review of the agency’s failure to enforce environmental regulations intended to prevent river pollution. For more information on the River Wye public law claims, read: River Action wins permission for judicial review of Environment Agency enforcement of regulations to protect River Wye from pollution. 

Leigh Day is now investigating bringing a group action to enforce the individual rights of those affected by the pollution of the River Wye. Our aim is to pursue fair compensation and remediation for all aspects of the harm done to the river and the surrounding communities. 

Can I register my interest in joining the potential claim?

You or your business can register your interest in the potential claim if: 

  • Your use and/or enjoyment of property rights has been negatively affected by the pollution of the River Wye (including land ownership, tenancies, fishing rights, boating rights or swimming rights)  
  • You have suffered some other particular loss as a result of the pollution of the River Wye (such as financial loss or loss of amenity/inconvenience/disruption to activities you undertake on or near the River Wye).

Join the collective and stay in the know

Simply fill out our online questionnaire to register your interest in joining the potential claim .

Why choose Leigh Day?

Leigh Day is one of the country’s leading law firms and bringing group actions on behalf of individuals and businesses impacted by the pollution of the environment is one of our key areas of specialism. We have been involved in many of the most important and cutting-edge group actions brought in the UK. Our expertise in holding corporations to account is unrivalled. We have multiple awards for our client care and legal work, including being awarded European law firm of the year 2023 by Chambers and Partners.

What happens after I register my interest?

Leigh Day is researching and speaking to affected communities to establish whether a claim can be brought. Our research to date suggests that there may be a strong basis for a group claim.  

If the claim goes ahead, we will contact you using the details you provide using the link above, explaining how to sign up to the claim. We will also provide you with details of the terms on which we could represent you at that stage, for you to review and consider before you sign up.

You must complete all the follow up steps to become a client and be part of the claim.

Our international team challenge multi-million-pound corporations who have unlawfully shared their customers' information or failed to invest in adequate security measures, resulting in a data breach.

Contact the team

  • Call for government taskforce to clean up River Wye BBC 12.7.23
  • River Wye's health downgraded amid wildlife decline BBC 30.5.23
  • Living by a 'dying river' - how pollution has put the Wye into decline Channel 4 31.5.23 
  • Dying River Wye: Tributary has pollution levels 175% above official targets iNews 15.08.23
  • Landmark decision on mega poultry farm could mean 'life or death' of River Wye The Guardian 10.01.23