Countryfile: Anita Rani discovers SHOCKING river testing method leaving viewers outraged

Chalk streams and the environmental pressures they are under was the focus of this evening’s edition of Countryfile, and viewers were treated to an unexpected use of a female hygiene item. 

Anita Rani visited one of these streams off of the River Itchin in Hampshire to find out how these habitats are being monitored. 

After meeting a host of local volunteers who help protect these streams by tidying them up, Anita spoke to an expert who revealed one of the tests used to discover whether a stream is healthy or not. 

Maggie explained: “The water test we’re doing here is to find out if there are optimum brighteners in the stream and these are things put in our detergents to make clothes brighter.

“If they’re getting into the stream through pipes that are cracked or broken, we can detect them,” she added before Rani asked her to explain what method is used.

“We put a tampon into the stream,” the expert revealed leading Anita to exclaim: “Well I wasn’t expecting you to say that! Why a tampon?”

Maggie explained the absorbent nature of tampons makes them perfect for this test and a UV light can be shined on them to expose how healthy the stream is.

She showed Anita a tampon that had been dipped in washing power glowed bright blue when the light was shone on it. 

Maggie then retrieved a tampon which had been soaking in the stream over night. 

After shining a UV torch on to it the soaked tampon turned purple which signified that all the work done by the volunteers was really making a difference. 

Cheekily, Anita joked: “Never thought I’d be on TV with a wet tampon on a stream! It’s ingenious.”

Viewers watching at home were quick to comment on the unusual use for the female hygiene product.

One said: “Soaking tampons, seen it all now #countryfile,” and another tweeted: “Maggie’s had a tampon soaking in the river…WTF? #countryfile.”

“”Maggie’s had a tampon soaking here in the river overnight.” There’s something I never expected to hear on  #Countryfile,” tweeted a third.

Another remarked: “This must be a first for @BBCCountryfile #countryfile.”

While a fifth added: “‘Maggie’s had a tampon soaking in the river overnight’. Thats not a phrase i expected 2hear this evening! #countryfile.”

Meanwhile, Julia Bradbury spoke out on a possible return to Countryfile.

In an exclusive interview with, Julia confessed: “I love Countyfile and I miss it.”

I would definitely head back there as a guest if there was a particular story or there was something which would make sense for me to cover.”

But she did admit to concerns over the BBC show’s “intense schedule”.

Countryfile continues Sunday at 7pm on BBC One.

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