Ilkley Clean River | Discover Ilkley

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Ilkley Clean River campaign

We are a group of local residents who decided to do something about sewage regularly polluting the river Wharfe at Ilkley. The issue has been going on for years, and residents have been reporting discharges of raw sewage to the Environment Agency (EA) since 2016.

Instead of giving up, we formed a campaign group in 2018 and mobilised support from our MP, the Town Council, Bradford Council and other groups. Since then we have managed to get national coverage in the media and have joined forces with similar groups all over the country. Hundreds of people use the river in the summer months and were doing so without any monitoring of water quality. In December 2020 we succeeded in getting recognition of the Wharfe at Ilkley as a bathing site – the first river site in the whole of the UK – and now the EA will have to monitor water quality from May to September.

We continue to campaign for the river to be cleaned up and returned to the best ecological standard possible for the benefit of people, wildlife and the planet.

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