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Nearly a quarter of rivers in England are classed as being in a poor or bad condition

CAMPAIGNERS issued a stark warning today about the dire state of England’s rivers in a new report.

According to the River Trust, pollution is so widespread that there are no stretches of river in England that are classed as being in good or high condition.

The trust’s assessment is based on chemical pollution and the rivers’ ecological state — such as the health of aquatic plants, fish and insects. 

Nearly a quarter — 23 per cent — of rivers are classed as being in a poor or bad condition.

The report says that all rivers in England are failing on chemical health and that just 15 per cent are in a good ecological state. 

In Wales, the rivers are much healthier, with 44 per cent achieving at least a good status overall. In Scotland, 57 per cent are classed as being in good or better condition. 

Rivers Trust chief Mark Lloyd warned that Britain’s waterways are in a “desperate condition” and that there have been no “dramatic improvements” since their first study was conducted in 2019. 

Josh Harris, of Surfers Against Sewage, said that the report shows that Britain’s rivers “are in severe decline and in need of help.” 

He underscored the effectiveness of campaigning as the Environment Agency announced its decision today to create 27 new designated swimming spots across England, including some in rivers. 

“People power is lifting the lid on the sewage scandal and driving change, and we encourage all communities who care for their local waterways to sign up to [the Surfers Against Sewage campaign] Protecting Wild Waters,” he said.


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