Anglers Against Pollution

New bathing water sites: statement from the Angling Trust

The announcement of 27 new bathing water sites in England should be put into context. The designations mean these sites will be subject to more tests and monitoring during the bathing season – May to September – but not at other times of the year.

Testing and monitoring is only the first step. It does not mean there will be an immediate improvement in water quality at these sites. Indeed, the first inland bathing water site – in Ilkley – still regularly fails water quality standards.

The Angling Trust would like to see more action and more urgency to tackle the shameful conditions of our rivers. Next month, Ofwat will announce their initial response to water companies’ proposed plans for investment over the next five years. We need to see a massive increase in investment if we are going to deliver the governments commitments to clean up our rivers.

Agricultural pollution also needs more focus. Farmers need more support and advice on how they can protect rivers. While the increase in farm inspections is good, the rates of failure to follow the rules by farmer is still alarmingly high, and yet the Environment Agency has still not taken a single prosecution to ensure the rules are enforced.

The Angling Trust wants to see the increased monitoring that will follow this announcement to be extended to cover the whole year. We want to see the increased inspection proposed by the Environment Agency for both water companies and farmers to lead to the worst rule breakers being prosecuted.

Stuart Singleton-White, Head of Campaigns, Angling Trust.

Image: The Wye at Hay-on-Wye – a popular bathing site

Find out more about our Anglers Against Pollution campaign here

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