Thousands collect throughout UK to demand clear rivers, seashores and lakes | EUROtoday

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Thousands of individuals throughout the UK gathered at seashores, rivers and lakes on Saturday to demand change within the nation’s water air pollution ranges.

Protesters gathered at swimming spots from West Pier in Brighton to Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth following studies that tens of millions of litres of uncooked sewage have been pumped into Windermere within the Lake District for 10 hours in February.

Some held indicators and placards calling for clear oceans whereas others wore costumes as folks have been seen paddle-boarding out into the ocean.

Among the calls for from activists was an finish to sewage discharges into all bathing and high-priority nature websites by 2030.

The marketing campaign, co-ordinated by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), noticed protests at greater than 30 places, from West Pier in Brighton to Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth.

Protest by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), in Falmouth (Anthony Upton/PA Media Assignments)

In Brighton, Olympic gold medal runner and eager paddle-boarder Dame Kelly Holmes addressed demonstrators by means of a megaphone earlier than main dozens in a paddle-out.

In Falmouth, surfers paddled out en-masse whereas sea-kayakers carried placards on their boats calling for fish not faeces. Meanwhile, greater than 200 folks entered the water at a wild swimming spot at Ferris Meadow Lake in Surrey.

Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes at a protest by Surfers Against Sewage in Brighton (Lia Toby/PA Media Assignments)

Emma Jackson, who organised the Shepperton Open Water Swim occasion, mentioned she was contacted by SAS after establishing a marketing campaign to avoid wasting the lake from the River Thames Scheme, which is able to construct a brand new flood reduction channel by means of the realm.

She mentioned the lake naturally cleans itself and was a lot safer to swim in than the Thames however, beneath the proposal, the lake can be linked to the river, leaving it at risk of contamination.

People participate in a protest by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), in Falmouth (Anthony Upton/PA Media Assignments)

She mentioned she couldn’t think about being unable to swim on the lake if it grew to become unsafe. including: “I don’t want to think about it”.

“Today is the first day of the season here at Shepperton Open Water Swim and I can tell you, speaking to my community of swimmers, they are all just over the moon to be back and it is a really special place for us.

“There are plenty of spaces you can swim, there are other lakes in the local area, there are other bodies of water that are equally as safe and we can we can swim in but… this place holds a special place in a lot of people’s hearts.”

Emma Jackson and Emma Pattinson at Shepperton Open Water Swim (Elena Giuliano/PA Wire)

Dinah Sershi, 54, and Georgina Palffy, 55, who’re common swimmers on the lake, attended the protest.

Ms Palffy mentioned they might really feel “bereft” in the event that they have been not capable of swim there attributable to water contamination.

“We do swim in other places, but none of them are quite as magical as this, and none of them have the amazing clean water that they get here, which is something really special,” she mentioned.

Ms Sershi mentioned swimming on the lake was notably essential for ladies who’re going by means of the menopause.

“I’m particularly passionate about swimming here,” she mentioned. “I’m a woman in my 50s. And I know a lot of people in this community are in their 40s and 50s and find the water an incredible way of managing the menopause symptoms.”

People participate in a protest by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), in Falmouth (Anthony Upton/PA Media Assignments)

Emma Pattinson, 55, whose household operates Shepperton Open Water Swim, mentioned there was an “alternative route” for the River Thames Scheme, which might circumvent the lake.

“Obviously we don’t want anyone to be flooded on our behalf,” she mentioned. “But we also want this lake to retain its clean water for our swimmers. It matters a lot to them.”

The protests got here after uncooked sewage was pumped into Lake Windemere for almost 10 hours in February after a telecommunication failure at a pumping station operated by United Utilities, a serious water and wastewater providers supplier within the North West.

The scenario was labelled a “scandal” by opposition politicians, whereas Downing Street mentioned it was “completely unacceptable” and the Environment Agency had the ability to launch a legal prosecution if essential.

Lake Windermere at Bowness within the Lake District nationwide park ,Cumbria (Alamy/PA)

The discharge occurred on the firm’s pumping station at Bowness-on-Windermere in Cumbria on the night time of 28 February and intermittently the next day.

The emergency pumps discharged greater than 10 million litres of uncooked sewage into the Unesco world heritage web site after the primary pumps abruptly stopped attributable to a telecom fault, insiders on the agency instructed BBC News, whose report additionally cited inside paperwork from the corporate.

The newest incident comes amid warnings from environmental businesses that swimming and different actions in and round a number of the nation’s rivers and lakes could possibly be hazardous attributable to excessive ranges of sewage air pollution.

There have been 68,481 incidents of sewage launched into England’s seas final yr, totalling 440,446 hours, marketing campaign group Friends of the Earth mentioned on Wednesday after analysing Environment Agency information.