Activism

Protesters take to the beaches over sewage pollution

One protest saw a coffin being floated down the river Wye on a surfboard.

Campaigners from Surfers Against Sewage are joined by other local community groups, as they gather on Fistral beach in Newquay. Image: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Water pollution is ravaging the UK’s rivers, thanks to water companies and lax regulation. So environmental campaigners have decided to fight them on the beaches.

Organised by Surfers Against Sewage, crowds gathered across the country on Saturday April 23 to protest over sewage pollution, with marches in Worthing and Newquay among those attracting large numbers.

Surfboards were held aloft, while placards included: “We’ve had enough of your shitty politics”.

In Abergavenny, a surfboard carried a coffin daubed with “death of the Wye” downriver as a protester dressed as the grim reaper looked on.

The situation is dire. Every single one of England’s rivers failed a pollution test in 2020.

A protester in Worthing holds a surfboard. Image: Joel Roberts/PA Wire

Hugh Tagholm, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage, said: “When I go for a surf, my son goes for a swim or when anyone takes time to enjoy the UK’s blue spaces, we shouldn’t have to do this with the risk of getting sick from sewage hanging over us.

“The message from the UK public has been made loud and clear from the streets today – water company execs, we are sick of your shit.”

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