ENGLAND’S rivers are the dirtiest in Europe, Government data reveals.
A report released last month shows not a single river, lake or coastal water in the country is rated as chemically ‘good’. This figure has plummeted from 97 per cent in 2016, when information was last published, though testing methods are now more rigorous.
The data also showed just 16 per cent of the country’s waterways are classed as meeting the separate ‘good ecological status’ for plants and wildlife, a figure that has remained unchanged since 2016.
“This is shameful,” said Stuart Singleton-White, the Angling Trust’s head of campaigns.
“Our rivers are officially the dirtiest in Europe.”
Across Europe, 40 per cent of surface water bodies are in good health. The figures for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are 65.7, 64 and 31.3 per cent, respectively.
“Water quality has plateaued since 2016, which isn’t good enough,” admitted Environment Agency chair Emma Howard Boyd.
The agency blames sewage discharge from water companies and chemical run-off from industry and farming.
Stuart Singleton-White added:
“We have to see funding to clean up our environment massively increased.
“We need regulators who can do their job properly and we must hold polluters to account.
“We can’t wait, our fish can’t wait, our rivers can’t wait.”