Shropshire Star

Women's Institute members get in the swim to support county campaigns to clean up rivers

Women's Institutes across Shropshire are supporting the organisation's national campaign for clean rivers.

One of the Shropshire Bathing Waters social swims

The county's federation is not only taking part WIs Week of River Action in September, members have been backing the Shropshire Bathing Waters initiative with some swimming in mass events in the Severn and others baking cakes for those taking part.

Recently the president of Harmer Hill and District WI went along to the River Severn in Shrewsbury town centre to support one of the social swimming sessions at Frankwell Quay.

Jenny Walsh said another member, Susannah Cheslett, was one of those swimming.

"I went along to support her as it’s something I feel quite passionate about," she said.

"I remember a few years ago learning to swim in the River Onny with my Primary School . How fortunate was I to have had that privilege. Now my grandchildren don’t have this opportunity, they learn in noisy , chlorine soaked, swimming pools."

"The Women’s Institute nationally being encouraged to be involved in the campaign The Clean Rivers for People and Wildlife Campaign. Not a single river in the UK is free from pollution and as a consequence our wildlife, environment and wellbeing are suffering."

Jenny said the Shropshire Federation of WIs would be at The Abbey Church Shrewsbury on September 16.

"We will have a Clean Rivers resolution stand at the event. & Radio Shropshire will be there. This campaign is encouraging members to make and support applications to create bathing waters in rivers across England and Wales as a way to drive the cleanup of our precious waters."

"Legally designated bathing waters must be regularly monitored for pollution. The national federation urges its members, the wider public, local authorities, and Government to make, support and promote applications for officially designated bathing sites on appropriate stretches of rivers in their area. This will be instrumental to the clean-up of rivers as it has been for water quality improvement at coastal beaches."

"Bathing water designation can play a key role in tackling pollution as it means that water must be tested for the bacteria that causes illness during the bathing season, and because water companies have an obligation to tackle pollution in these locations."

The Federation will have a Week of River Action from September 11-18.

Recently the Shropshire Bathing Waters Campaign has organised social swims at Frankwell and at Ironbridge and at The Linney, Ludlow.

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