Police are investigating over concerns that non-native wildlife could have escaped into the Welsh countryside following the I'm A Celebrity Bushtucker trails. According to the Guardian, officers are looking into complaints that creatures such as spiders, cockroaches and maggots could threaten local wildlife in the 250-acre estate surrounding Gwrych Castle, where the show is being filmed.
MORE: I'm A Celebrity: tragedy hits the reality TV show
WATCH: AJ Pritchard and Jess Plummer tackle Bushtucker Trial
It comes after Springwatch presenter and naturalist Iolo Williams said he was appalled to see thousands of non-native cockroaches being used in one of the trials. He told the newspaper, "I'm not sure which species they're releasing, but I can tell you they're not native. We don't have those cockroaches here in the UK and we certainly don't have them in north Wales."
MORE: 7 of the most dramatic moments in I'm A Celebrity over the years
Cockroaches and other bugs are frequently used in Bushtucker Trials
He continued: "Cockroaches are the ultimate survivors, and if they survive in north Wales and escape into the wild there, what effect are they going to have? I don't know, nobody knows... I just find it incredible that they're allowed to do this, and I'm not being a killjoy here. Why not use fish guts, or offal?"
MORE: I'm a Celebrity's Gwrych Castle: see inside the haunted Welsh location
In response, a spokesperson for the ITV reality show said all the insects used in I'm A Celebrity trials are non-invasive species, stating: "They are only ever released in a contained area and collected immediately after filming. They are all purchased commercially within the UK and are normally bred as animal food."
There is concern over non-native species
But according to the newspaper, Natural Resources Wales, which gives out licences for the release of species, did not receive an application from ITV to release non-native species. If these species have been released without a licence it would be a breach of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
A spokesperson for north Wales police confirmed: "The matter is being investigated by officers from our rural crime team."
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.