Clear Water, Poisoned Debate

For decades we’ve been hearing that water is a diminishing commodity, and with an ever-expanding global population we’ll soon be fighting over water resources.

Though these predictions often came from the same people who at different times – or even simultaneously – could predict icebergs in Swansea Bay and no snow on Yr Wyddfa.

It was the usual nonsense from the usual sources.

And yet, in Wales now, water is being used as a weapon. Not by us against our village-drowning neighbours but by politicians and others, supposedly serving Wales and Welsh interests, against a section of the Welsh population.

If that necessitates twisting the facts, and taking control of certain bodies, either through funding or placement of personnel, then so be it.

This is another big one, so I’ll say what I always say: Don’t rush it, take your time, savour it, and you’ll enjoy it far more.


It’s been accepted for many years that there might be a problem with nitrate discharges, from some dairy farms, mostly in the south west. This highly localised problem explained why Natural Resources Wales classified just 2.4% of Welsh farmland as ‘vulnerable’.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

When asked to revisit the issue NRW produced a report in September 2016 that (on page 13) suggested, ‘Adoption of the targeted approach would mean an increase in the total area designated from 2.4% to approximately 8% which includes those areas newly identified by NRW’.

A targeted approach was obviously the sensible and fair way to go, but then the politicians got involved. One politician in particular.

The elections of May 2016 saw Lesley Griffiths re-elected for Labour in Wrecsam. Her Senedd bio then tracks her meteoric rise to voodoo doll status in farmhouses across the land. (Soon to be accompanied by Gary.)

First, she was made Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs. In November 2017 the job title changed to Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs. Then, 0n 13 December 2018, she was handed her baton as Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs.

Despite the facts of the matter, and the sensible proposal from NRW, just before Christmas 2017 Lesley Griffiths declared that the whole of Wales was at risk of NVZ pollution. Using this to announce an all-Wales regime.

After a year of being fed a diet of undiluted pollution La Griffiths announced in November 2018 that her mind was made up and she would introduce what she considered to be the necessary legislation.

After a slight delay due to Covid the implementation date was set for April 1, 2021.

But then things started to go awry for the so-called ‘Welsh Government’.

Despite an (unsuccessful) appeal by NFU Cymru the debate was noticeably widening as others took an interest, and could see how disproportionate to the scale of the problem Cruella de Griff’s proposals were.

For in addition to the all-Wales approach the acceptable nitrogen level in Wales was to be 170kg/ha, compared to 250kg/ha in England and Scotland. This was so obviously unfair, in a country where farmers are, on average, less affluent than their English and Scottish counterparts, that it tended to give the game away.

Because there would of course be a financial burden for farmers. Though I’m sure that those trying to put livestock farmers out of business knew exactly what they were doing

The backtracking had begun. With Plaid Cymru taking the credit. For despite being Labour’s partner in a coalition that dare not speak its name, the reaction from Plaid’s large rural vote was giving the party’s leaders serious concerns.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

A Plaid Cymru source said their party had pushed Labour ministers to act‘.

Some cynics – not me! – might wonder what Plaid has offered in return.

The NVZ proposals couldn’t withstand scrutiny from any fair-minded observer because they had little to do with pollution. NVZ was a stick with which to beat livestock farmers, hopefully putting many out of business to release land for other purposes. Land coveted by many in the offstage chorus influencing our Lesley.

To support and legitimise this attack on livestock farming we were expected to believe that only farmers are responsible for polluting our waterways and seas.

Which meant that Dŵr Cymru (Welsh Water), the worst culprit, got a free pass. How did that come about?

All will be explained later in this piece.


This section is part digression, part lead-in.

A group that has figured on this blog a few times is a coven of Green-Left-Woke crones who’ve imposed themselves on the border town of Knighton. There are a few men associated with them, perhaps even more unhinged than their female comrades.

Catch up with them in Colonialism in microcosm, or Knighton.

They perform the full far left agenda:

Rather than doing the honest thing and just staying away altogether on Remembrance Sunday they insist on making a nuisance of themselves by placing wreaths of white poppies on the war memorial. (Dressed à la mode Michael Foot.)

Are they reprising a scene from a horror movie? Click to open enlarged in separate tab

You will not be surprised to learn that these biddies have formed a Knighton and District Refugee Support Group. Reluctance to welcome with open arms complete strangers from far-off lands will see you labelled a ‘racist’.

An epithet also hurled at those not condemning the fascists of the Israeli state.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The gang’s environmental credentials are on extravagant display with Sustainable Food Knighton. Which, in practice, is little more than a vendetta against a local chicken farm.

The attack is mounted on two fronts. One, it’s cruel to the chickens. Two, intensive chicken farms are a big, big source of river pollution.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Without being able to consult the chickens it may be impossible to address the first point. The second is more relevant to this article because it’s used over and over again by environmental Non-Governmental Organisations (eNGOs).

Especially those that allege chicken farms in Powys are severely damaging the rivers Usk and Wye.

But what are the facts?

Well, for a start, there are more, and bigger, chicken farms in Shropshire and Herefordshire, as the map below shows. So if chicken shit is a problem in Wales then it could well be coming from over the border.

Then again, it might not be a problem at all. Or, it’s a problem that’s being exaggerated.

Knighton is circled in green. Note on which side of the border the chicken farms south of the town are to found. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

For anecdotal evidence suggests there are even more chicken farms in the Severn catchment area, the Trent catchment area, etc. But there are far fewer complaints from these areas.

Which could mean that either shit from Welsh chickens is particularly toxic – in which case every one of the little buggers should be killed immediately! – or there’s a purpose behind the lying.

It’s the latter.

A suspicion reinforced by the Environment Agency recently concluding that the bigger culprit in the Wye catchment is arable farmers, who are mainly found on the England side of the border.

Confirmed by this graphic released by the Environment Agency relating to the Wye in England. Note the section I’ve highlighted in the second level. The tributaries mentioned are also in England.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Something also worth contributing here is that arable farmers use chicken manure as a fertiliser.

So even if chicken shit is the problem, it’s more likely to come from over the border; either directly from chicken farms or indirectly from arable farms.

And there’s yet another consideration to take into account. Certain interests are pushing us towards a meat-free diet, and in this scenario many view arable farmers as part of the solution. Which might explain them also getting a free pass.

The suspicion of an anti-livestock farming agenda being served was strengthened last month by a ‘report’ on BBC Wales about pollution on the Wye. One of the most biased pieces of television journalism I have ever seen.

Let me explain why I say that:

  • Passing references were made to sewage, but we were left in no doubt that the real culprits are farmers.
  • But only livestock farmers, with the programme focusing on one particular chicken farm.
  • There was no reference to the fact that the Wye is a cross-border river.
  • Despite being fronted by Wyre Davies the star of the show was Gail Davies-Walsh, who became CEO of Afonydd Cymru Cyf on February 22 2021, and secretary on March 11.
  • Afonydd Cymru (Rivers of Wales) serves as the umbrella body for the more local river groups.
  • Her Linkedin profile (here in pdf) tells us that until September she was Head of Natural Capital for the Wye and Usk Foundation‘. ‘Natural Capital’ seems to be code for, among other things, greenwashing. Certainly tree planting.
  •  Revealingly, Linkedin also tells us that Gail Davies-Walsh worked for Dŵr Cymru for almost 14 years, up until January 2020.
Gail Davies-Walsh. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Gail Davies-Walsh took the idea for the programme to the BBC. Which would raise more concerns about linkages, and influence.

Another who joined Afonydd Cymru recently is Harriet Alvis, (Linkedin in pdf) CEO at West Wales Rivers Trust, and co-editor of FISH, the magazine of the Institute of Fisheries Management.

More on both in a mo.

And the situation herein described is very much the same with more terrestrial eNGOs. ‘Environmentalists’ opposed to livestock farming take control of existing groups or set up new ones – and never go unfunded again!

A phenomenon reported on this blog many times. Try Enviroshysters flock to Wales for easy money, Invasion of the Enviroshysters (PG), or Back to the Land!.


Time now to turn our attention to the increasingly well-funded bodies looking after our various rivers, and we find new ones forming all the time. With the money available perhaps explaining the proliferation?

Here’s a table I’ve draw up, in pdf format (with working links) that I hope lists all the various river outfits operating in Wales. If you know one I’ve left out, then please let me know.

You’ll see that some are specific to one river while others are more general, some even claiming to be national in their scope.

Let me say at the outset, there are many genuine people involved in river trusts, boards, etc; not least, anglers, whose only concerns are for the health of our rivers, fish stocks, and other environmental matters.

But unfortunately, there are others, either looking out for themselves, or involved for a different purpose.

Go through the table I’ve linked to, particularly the ‘Comments’ section, and you’ll see substantial inputs of official funding in recent years.

Take the North Wales Rivers Trust for example. Total income in the year ending 31.03.2022 was £241,790. Of which £241,690 came in ‘Welsh Government’ grants.

From the Charity Commission entry under ‘Financial history. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

And it’s a similar story with other river bodies. Though much of the increase, instead of being shown as coming from ‘government grants’ or ‘government contracts’, is disguised as, ‘Income – charitable activities’ on the Charity Commission entry.

Such as here with the West Wales Rivers Trust. The Charity Commission graph shows income soaring from just £3,750 in y/e 31.03.2017 to £541,140 for y/e 31.03.2021.

That is one hell of a jump in just four years! One way of interpreting the big increase is the ‘Welsh Government’ – or Dŵr Cymru? – paying CEO Harriet Alvis’s salary.

Because don’t you find that strange?

A river group that has meandered happily along for 15 years suddenly needs a CEO.

Equally thought-provoking is Gail Davies-Walsh becoming CEO of Afonydd Cymru.

Making me wonder if Gail Davies-Walsh and Harriet Alvis were ‘placed’ in the West Wales Rivers Trust and Afonydd Cymru to push the ‘Welsh Government’s anti-farming campaign, and also to protect Dŵr Cymru.

For there is a certain ‘circularity’ to it all. ‘Welsh Government’ and Dŵr Cymru would no doubt explain the increase in funding by the ‘state of the rivers’, which then justifies the attack on livestock farming.

A ‘circularity’ made even more suspicious by the fact that these vast increases in funding occur at exactly the same time Lesley Griffiths was hatching the absurd and punitive NVZ legislation.

If I’m wrong then maybe someone can give another reason for our river bodies being showered with cash from 2016.

Back to the riverbank . . .

On the other side of the country the wealthy Wye and Usk Foundation’s income from government grants and contracts jumped from £404,950 in 2018 to £934,670 in 2020.

Not far away is the South East Wales Rivers Trust, which also saw its income more than double between 2017 and 2021. Explained as funding from, ‘Natural Resources Wales, Welsh Water, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Welsh Government with European Funds’.

The ‘disguised grants’ I referred to earlier was money paid to Afonydd Cymru Cyf and then distributed to the individual water groups. Afonydd Cymru’s own accounts tell us ‘Income from government grants’ jumped from zero in 2019 to £894,700 in 2020.

Afonydd Cymru may operate like the Wales Council for Voluntary Action does in relation to the third sector. That is, acting as a conduit for ‘Welsh Government’ funding in the hope of disguising the source of the funding.

But the money filtered through Afonydd Cymru is small beer compared to the £13.8m up for grabs in the Four Rivers For Life project, administered by Natural Resources Wales. (Though £4.5m actually goes towards ‘quaking bogs’.) The four rivers being the Tywi, Teifi, Cleddau and – it should go without saying – the Usk.

This might explain the recent formation of the Save the Teifi campaign. Though information is difficult to find. For example, the social media links at the foot of the website home page don’t work.

This report in the Tivy-side Advertiser in August links the group with Ffynnone-Community Resilience and mentions ‘spokespersons’, but gives no names. Is it a secret society?

The only name mentioned in the Tivy-side article is ‘Councillor John Davies’. This must be ‘John Cwmbetws’, of Bute Energy’s Welsh Advisory Board. Bute being a Scottish company that wants to build twenty or more wind farms in Wales, some with the tallest towers yet seen on land.

Well connected, is John. In Llanelwedd, Corruption Bay, and other places.

The Ffynnone group might be trying to stay anonymous, but one name has been given to me. It’s Jessica McQuade who, I’m told, not long ago moved to Llandudoch, across the Teifi estuary from Aberteifi.

Her Twitter account confirms the link with the Save the Teifi campaign.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

What struck me was that McQuade and Harriet Alvis, the CEO at the West Wales Rivers Trust and, since last month, a director at Afonydd Cymru, are both followed by the Brecon Beacons Mega Catchment.

This is the group created by Dŵr Cymru following its link-up with the Watershed Agricultural Council in New York State, in the area that supplies New York City with water. I wrote about this group in my previous post. It’s another outfit with very little information publicly available.

But what is McQuade’s and Alvis’s connection with this Dŵr Cymru outfit? And with Dŵr Cymru itself?

Jessica McQuade’s Save the Teifi / Ffynnone group has already received ‘Welsh Government’ funding. She could be another one ‘placed’ to push the ‘Welsh Government’s anti-farming campaign / WEF’s Agenda 2030 and, of course, to shield Dŵr Cymru.

As I suggested earlier, all the money recently being splashing around, with a veritable tsunami of new funding approaching, may also explain the new groups springing up. Here are some more.

There’s the Cardiff Rivers Group, containing a few Sherman luvvies, set up in October 2020. Bay-watchers may recognise one or two of the trustees.

Then there’s the Welsh Rivers Union, which has a website, and a Twitter account from February last year, but seems to be unregistered as either a company or a charity.

Next, there’s the Wye Salmon Association, whose Twitter account started in September last year. This too seems unregistered.

Finally, and most recently, there’s Friends of the Upper Wye. Which registered as a charity in March this year.

Let me conclude this section with a tweet from Jessica McQuade who, you’ll remember, is busy with the Save the Teifi campaign since moving to north Pembrokeshire, but whose day job is with the World Wildlife Fund.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Now why would the WWF be interested in food? And trust me – that is human food she’s referring to.

Because, gentle reader, the WWF is no longer about saving pandas; it is a full-on, far left organisation totally committed to the anti-farming and the anti-human – ‘reduce the population’ – agenda.

And also believe me when I tell you that the WWF wields great influence with the ‘Welsh Government’, and in the Bay more generally.


The ‘Welsh Government’ – and, indeed, the Bay establishment – has bought into the UN’s Agenda 2030 and the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset.

Both posit that burping, farting farm animals are destroying the environment; so we should switch to eating plant-based foods, insects, and gunge marketed as ‘artificial meat’.

Obviously, this will mean many fewer livestock farmers in Wales. Perhaps none. But that’s no problem, because the land vacated is already earmarked for tree planting, rewilding, conservation projects and other activities from which Welsh people will be largely excluded unless needed for window-dressing.

To facilitate this clearance programme livestock farmers must be blamed for things that are not their fault. This frees Dŵr Cymru from criticism. An objective easy to achieve given the influence the water company wields within ‘Welsh Government’.

To ensure that everyone sings from the same hymn sheet the ‘Welsh Government’, Dŵr Cymru and other official bodies are more than willing to fund assorted eNGOs which, in return, may accept ‘appointees’.

What I’m alluding to is little different to Bill Gates funding the BBC, the Guardian, New York Times, CNN and countless other media outlets around the world. He doesn’t do it in defence of the truth, he does it to ensure the media he funds will promote his and the World Economic Forum’s agenda.

‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’.

Headlines like this, frightening people into obeying the WEF agenda, don’t come cheap. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Wales, being a poor country, and a corrupt, one-party state, with no effective political opposition, and no functioning media, is especially vulnerable to powerful forces seeking to impose an agenda.

If farmers can be defeated, and the food supply controlled by forces you will have difficulty identifying, let alone challenging, then we will have already lost. Because who controls the food supply controls the world.

It’ll be too late to complain when your car is confiscated, or when your access to your bank account is blocked because you said something on social media that somebody, somewhere, didn’t like.

So stand with the farmers, and stand up to those who threaten them. Because those who threaten the farmers also threaten you.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2022

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Fantastic article and deserves more coverage. I understand that the BBC programme quoted a somewhat historic and certainly inaccurate academic position on river pollution that justifiably assumed that Water Companies weren’t carrying out illegal activities such as dumping raw sewerage directly into rivers which has since been proven, which I felt was the biggest clanger of the programme and presenter! I believe Gelli Aur college in Carmarthenshire has been studying agricultural pollution for a number of years with various testing stations on the Towy and now has significant factual based evidence to proof that agricultural activities are unlikely to be a main cause.


What’s with that nice little irredentist map of Wales from NRW? Are they staking a claim for the lost lands? ?


Browsing your tweet column. That copy of a redacted e-mail touched a nerve. The idea that the hotel could have been put to better use to take the overspill from hospitals ( e.g bed blocking cases)is good, except for the fact that the shortage of nursing staff and caring staff cannot be remedied overnight. Of course the bunch of wallies running Welsh NHS in the regions and down the Bay have achieved next to nothing over 22 years in quantifying need and meeting that demand. Instead they have jerked off to a regular diet of liberating men in frocks, diversity, inclusivity and equality fantasy, green gospel bullshit, and educating kids in “skills” that are mostly irrelevant to the world they live in.

All Twen

Some good stuff from you as always Jac. Well done. Don’t let the lice or mice distract you. By the way – where is the EX Lliw EX NPT EX Labour EX Mouth EX Fingers in the Pie DAI ROCKS these days? Has he moved from Alltwen to Devon’s Exmouth?

Rubin Irvine

I can remember forestry being blamed for loss of water quality. I’m sure it should shoulder some of the blame. Massive areas that were untouched by machinery are now routinely trashed in all the upland areas


I agree with most things you say but don’t want to see Britain broken up so we stay divided unlike the left who regard everyone who isn’t a trans/BLM/climate fanatic etc etc to be a fascist.

I don’t see any reverse to the current direction of travel, the west seems to be on a path of terminal decline – ironically its took a non white female home secretary to spell it out.

David Smith

Britain is an island. Nobody is advocating digging moats to splice it into three!


What do you think they’re paying them? They’re on a pittance and it’s all publicly available information on their accounts ? is it that you don’t like women in prominent positions? Mummy issues much?


You are being far too polite Jac. Lice don’t come out of the woodwork but are found in warm areas like the manky wool around a sheep’s arsehole. Maybe old Huwie up above had just climbed out of his sheep’s derriere before he scribbled his petty little note. Just speculatin’ like.


Well researched article again by you Jac, and your conclusion is spot on. As you are aware, I’m currently in correspondence with NRW. Currently awaiting reply to my letter dated 7 November, reproduced below for the benefit of your subscribers.

Team Leader – Customer Hub
Natural Resources Wales
Ty Cambria
29 Newport Road
CF24 0TP

My Ref: NCC/WJ/20
Your Ref: ATI-24161a
Date: 7 November 2022

Dear Miriam Jones

Subject: NRW Regulatory Fees and Charges – Benefit v Cost analysis in accordance with H M Treasury protocol

I am grateful to your colleague Alys Williams for responding to my request for information. A copy of NRW letter dated 7 November 2022 is attached hereto. I have noted the content of the letter and documentation linked to. I would appreciate further clarification under your “internal review” process.

You advise that H M Treasury Green Book is “normally” associated with investment option appraisal [value for money] assessments. However, your documentation confirms that your fees and charges proposals / policies are made in line with “Managing Welsh Public Money”, “H M Treasury rules” and your legislative obligations. The documentation further confirms that the amount of resources and regulatory effort you apply to an activity is driven by factors and thresholds set out in legislation and policy. Under my interpretation of Treasury rules, NRW policy is subject to appraisal and benefit v cost analysis to demonstrate value for money. Statements in your documentation would appear to support my interpretation. You confirm that your charging proposals / policies have been developed through a process of research and discussion with Welsh Government and other stakeholders. You confirm that costs have been assessed. No reference is made to an assessment of benefits.

Your further clarification would be appreciated at your convenience, so that I can establish whether your proposals / policies comply with H M Treasury rules. Do you accept that NRW policy is subject to H M Treasury rules to demonstrate value for money? Thank you.

Yours sincerely


We may soon be at a point of no return with these deviants pushing all sorts of warped agendas. Some do it because their personal insecurity demands that they perform increasingly outrageous acts of virtue signaling. Some do it because they have swallowed much of the false content of some variant of the green gospels and are compelled to “act”. And others do it because it satisfies some kind of power lust and feeds their warped hatred of groups like farmers or rural communities in general.

It all adds up to a multi front attack on us as a nation. It’s done in the name of the “people” yet most of those people don’t support it, don’t believe in it, and don’t even benefit from it. Bit like the indiscriminate open doors policy on migration where any old gang of thugs who get onto a boat can sail into the country and get put up for free of charge while natives get into a housing or hospital queue and wait for ever for any kind of service. No point blaming London, there are plenty of scabs among us here in Wales who are actively driving and supporting this nonsense.


Maybe it’s time for some of us good old country boys to come up with some “solutions” to eradicate the useless froth floating around in the Bay and other wanker infested enclaves. Might even prove to be a bit of entertainment before I call it a day !


The latest Wokeist Wheeze is to ‘decolonise’ maths, because amongst other inconvenient truths, Newton had shares in slave trading. I suggest, to really stick it to these long-dead villains, we declare Pi equal to 4 and ban calculus. Buildings falling down will be a small price to pay for (very) retroactive social justice!

David Smith

There’s obviously a reason why Europe and Asia are almost universally considered separate continents except in the geological, Eurasian landmass sense.

Maybe we're both wrong

Interesting article but let down by needless swearing, childish name calling and assumptions aiming to be passed as fact.

Maybe some of these ‘placed’ people are genuine people, with genuine intentions, who don’t attack farmers but try to work with them.

As a farmer myself, I know we are not perfect and can improve our relationship with nature.

I do agree with the view that the water companies are being treated lightly and should be the primary target

David Smith

Jac’s articles; often salty, frequently sweary, and always provocative. That’s why for my money he’s indispensable to us in Wales.

David Smith

No functioning media. How true. How come whenever an article on the threat posed to our indigenous culture by influx from our far larger and wealthier neighbour, or perhaps one in which points are raised about the one-sided relationship therein, appears in a Trinity Mirror online publication, ‘most liked’ comments are always staunchly unionist in outlook and wholly dismissive of any of these concerns? It does irk me I have to say, especially when it doesn’t reflect sentiment on the ground.


Even new media like IMJ’s behaves like an organ of the state. Today it teases us with a story that Rhys ap Owen has been “suspended” yet remains a member of the party!. He’s been referred to the Standards Commissioner, the Commissar with power to make life miserable if he/she so chooses. Rarely has the post holder really got his arse in his hand so delinquents get off lightly, unless of course you happen to be a certain N McEvoy. In his case 2 parties clubbed together to ensure that he was metaphorically bound, gagged, hung, drawn and quartered to stop him engaging in things like spilling the beans on the Deryn conspiracies and other bits of hanky panky within Plaid and the wider Bay bubble.

David Smith

Engaging with one of these sockpuppets in debate, often boneheaded, and almost always poor with grasp of the written word, invariably is like shooting fish in a barrel. I tore one to pieces a while back on WalesOnline, every single solitary sodding point he drooled out, to a bullet, handily beaten with soild and sensible rebuttal.

Inconsistencies in writing ‘style’, and in anecdotes provided in support of their views, will give away the game of multi-manned troll accounts. Another giveaway is shallow characterisation.

How many Scottish Unionist Twitter accounts are so crudely and obviously works of fiction? The most vociferous invariably pastiches, or worse, parodies of a Scottish Unionist; “Rangers till I die”, GSTQ, UJ bedecked, oftentimes a ‘veteran’, demonstrably quite thick and almost never a profile pic of an actual human who isn’t A Great British Demigod like Liz Windsor or Churchill or the like.

Of course like any cohort consisting of half a country or thereabouts, in the real world Unionist Scots are not just a band of Bucky swilling chavs, brainwashed ex-cannon fodder or cap-doffing snivellers, much as we’d like to imagine them as such, ha.