Successful public engagement in Shrewsbury town centre over river pollution

Environment campaigners have had a successful day of public engagement in Shrewsbury town centre over river pollution in the Severn.

River poo awareness event at Pride Hill in Shrewsbury with Sewage Creek and ER as part of the XR dirty water protest..
River poo awareness event at Pride Hill in Shrewsbury with Sewage Creek and ER as part of the XR dirty water protest..

It comes as part of a national day of 'Dirty Water' protests in which campaigners across the country are raising awareness of pollution in rivers and seas.

Shrewsbury sewage pollution protesters Up Sewage Creek were joined by members of Extinction Rebellion on Saturday to raise awareness of sewage in the River Severn.

Local campaigners set up a 'poo-o-meter' on Pride Hill, as well as a big sewage map and handed out poo-emoji stickers and leaflets to shoppers on Saturday afternoon.

Claire Kirby, Up Sewage Creek campaigner said: "We are raising awareness about the state of the river in Shrewsbury and quite a few people came – it was really good public engagement.

"Most people know quite a bit about the state of the river and we were able to educate them further. People are quite outraged and most people are keen to get involved."

Shrewsbury Town Council described the situation as ‘embarrassing’ and is setting up a public meeting at Theatre Severn on February 27.

Claire went on to say that people in Shrewsbury are angry with the government and the water companies and want something to be done.

She said: "Currently it's legal for raw sewage to be discharged into our beautiful river during extreme weather conditions which as we know are becoming more frequent.

"We would like Severn Trent, the Environment Agency and the government to do something about it urgently because currently wildlife is at stake and also people are getting ill from diseases they're picking up from sewage in the river."

Frank Daniels from Extinction Rebellion added: "We’ve watched in horror as our rivers and seas have been turned into open sewers since October, when the Government voted down a proposal to stop water companies pumping waste directly into our waterways because it was too expensive to stop them.

"Ordinary people need to realise that the politicians aren’t going to save our rivers.

"If you’re worried about sewage pollution, you need to help us."

"Join Extinction Rebellion in London for 'The Big One' on April 21, when 100,000 ordinary people will tell the Government that it's time to protect our water, our air and our climate from destruction."

Up Sewage Creek’s website is Details of ‘The Big One’ can be found at

A Severn Trent spokesperson said: “We are absolutely committed to improving the health of our region’s rivers and we are working closely with communities across Shropshire to make progress, including through the creation of a bathing quality river in Ludlow.

“We’re continuing to invest £100m a year to go even further in improving our region’s rivers and are moving faster than sector targets to improve river quality. Last year we pledged that our operations will not be the reason for unhealthy rivers by 2030.

“Based on Environment Agency (EA) measures called RNAGS (Reasons for Not Achieving Good Status), current data from the EA shows that water companies are responsible for 24% of RNAGS in England, while other sectors are responsible for the remaining 76%.

“In the last year we have made progress and already reduced Severn Trent’s contribution to rivers in our region not achieving good environmental status to 18%, putting us ahead of our plan to reach 0% by 2030.”

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News