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Update January 2021

Good news from WASP and what you can do to help save the Windrush

Thank you for all your support this past year across the Lower Windrush Villages. WASP has been continuing to fight to protect the Windrush from the impact of sewage pollution and your focus on this issue is resulting in exciting developments in 2021.  Community action is proving to work so please keep up the wonderful energy.


Good news

Ilkley granted Bathing Water Status.

For the first time in this country, a river has been granted bathing status.  This will make sure that the River Wharfe at Ilkley in Yorkshire will be regularly checked by the Environment Agency from May to September for bacteria and sewage.  This is a huge step towards cleaning up the river so that it is fit for people and wildlife, and we hope that it will lead to many more positive changes for all rivers across the UK this year.


More than 100 MPs from across different parties are supporting a parliamentary bid to stop water companies discharging untreated sewage into rivers. 

Philip Dunne MP is seeking in a private member’s bill to place a duty on water companies to ensure untreated sewage is not discharged into rivers and inland waterways.  The second reading of Dunne’s bill takes place on 22 January.  Robert Courts MP has suggested he may support the bill but please ensure that he votes.
Cross-party bloc of MPs back action on sewage discharge into rivers


The Environmental Audit Committee has also announced an enquiry into pollution, focusing on the Water Industry. 

This is a truly HUGE step forward and WASP along with other groups have plenty of evidence to submit to the enquiry in Feb.  A coalition of groups led by Surfers Against Sewage and including the Rivers Trusts, the Angling Trust, the RSPB, WASP, the Ilkley Clean Rivers Group and more has formed and has been sharing information and coordinating action.

Water Quality in Rivers inquiry launched - Committees - UK Parliament


What you can do

Our communities' collective attention on the issues of sewage tankering and dumping in the Windrush is also leading to positive engagement from Thames Water. There is still a long way to go to ensure that they deliver on their promises of change.  We need to keep the pressure on as the tankers are still out and about and sadly Witney Sewage Treatment works has been spilling untreated sewage for many days over the last few weeks.


Many of you have kindly offered your help and there is action that you can take.

Encourage Robert Courts to vote in support of Philip Dunne's Bill.
Please use this simple link to write to your MP before 22 January, to ensure that he attends the debate and votes in support of the Bill.  It only takes a moment and all the work is done for you!


Memories of the Windrush.

This is a film made by a young local WASP supporter.  It features David Reinger, a passionate local fisherman who shares his vivid recollections of a vastly different river from the one we see today.


Please take a few minutes to watch and share this film in any way that you can. It is vital that more people understand what has happened to our rivers so that action is taken to restore them for future generations to enjoy.  


We will get the Windrush back to health.


Thank you again. Wishing you and your loved ones a brighter 2021 for all.


Soraya Wooller


WASP is Windrush Against Sewage Pollution