90% Of England’s Most Precious Rivers Polluteded By Raw Sewage And Farming

"Observer investigation reveals the shocking state of the country’s protected freshwater sites of special scientific interest".

"More than 90% of freshwater habitats on England’s most precious rivers are in unfavourable condition, blighted by farming pollution, raw sewage and water abstraction, an Observer investigation reveals.

None of the approximately 40 rivers with protected habitats in England are in overall good health, according to an analysis of government inspection reports. These include the River Avon in Hampshire, the Wensum in Norfolk and the Eden in Cumbria.

Recent government figures show that only 9.9% of these habitats on sites of special scientific interest (SSSI) are in favourable condition. SSSI status encompasses freshwater habitats, along with nearby woodland, marsh and fenland. In comparison 59.4% of protected habitats on coasts and estuaries are in favourable condition. The Observer’s analysis suggests the freshwater habitats are most at threat because of a cocktail of pollution from agricultural runoff, sewage discharges and microplastics, as well as damaging human interventions such as dredging."

Jon Ungoed-Thomas and Maximilian Jenz report for the Guardian August 12, 2023.


Source: Guardian, 08/16/2023