Anglers Against Pollution

Anglers Against Pollution milestone as 2,000th water quality sample taken from UK rivers

The Angling Trust’s Anglers Against Pollution campaign has reached a significant milestone with the 2,000th water quality sample taken from UK rivers.

The Water Quality Monitoring Network launched as a pilot project on the River Severn in May 2022 and was rolled out nationally just two months later. It currently involves over 470 volunteers from angling clubs taking samples from their local waters to better understand water quality and potential pollution issues.

The 2,000th sample was taken by voluntary bailiff Jonathan Swan on the River Chelmer in Essex and showed that phosphate levels exceeded the Water Framework Directive while nitrates were at the trigger level.

Kris Kent, the Angling Trust’s Campaigns & Advocacy Manager who leads on the Water Quality Monitoring project, said:  

“When we rolled out the Water Quality Monitoring Network nationally in July 2022, I never expected to record 2,000 samples within the first year, yet here we are. With over 470 volunteers registered from 195 angling clubs we have made amazing progress, and all thanks to all the hard work of volunteers like Jonathan.

“What is sad is that the 2000th sample recorded is further evidence of the poor water quality on many of our rivers, exceeding Water Framework Directive standards for phosphate and with high nitrate levels. Thank you to all the volunteers who have contributed to those 2,000 samples and keep up the great work.”

Following the recordings taken across the country, a number of clubs have escalated their findings with the Environment Agency, water companies, local authorities and the media.

In Kent, the Royal Tunbridge Wells Angling Society and Bromley & District Angling Society used their findings to pinpoint four potential sources of pollution – run off from a large cattle farm, a Southern Water sewage pumping station, the South Tunbridge Wells Water Treatment Works outfall, and a brick stack inspection port from a local estate – which they reported to the Environment Agency hotline.

And on the River Severn, Shrewsbury Town Fisheries have presented their results to the Town Council and featured at the ‘How Clean Is Our River?’ meeting in February. They are continuing to campaign locally alongside other community groups and have appeared in the angling, regional and national media.

The Water Quality Monitoring initiative is supported by Orvis UK and the “Big Yellow Boxes” are supplied by Flambeau Outdoors. If your club would like to get involved, please contact [email protected].

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