Shropshire Star

Delight as application to get bathing water status for three Shropshire river sites passes first hurdle

Volunteers have welcomed the news that three river sites in Shropshire could be given Bathing Water Status after passing the first step in a bid to be designated for swimming.

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One of the Shropshire Bathing Waters social swims

The River Teme at The Linney, Ludlow, along with the River Severn in Ironbridge and Frankwell, Shrewsbury have fullfilled the criteria that the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) needed.

They are three of 27 sites across the UK that now go forward to the consultation phase.

Subject to a two-week consultation, the Environment Agency will create 27 new designated swimming spots across England. If designated, sites will receive regular water monitoring from the Environment Agency, which will investigate pollution sources and identify steps to be taken in response.

Swimmers in Shrewsbury

Alison Biddulph, one of those who has been collating all the information for Defra said it was great news.

She said a team of volunteers had works tirelessly to get all the information together.

"We had to ensure that there were parking and toilet facilities close to the sites and get support from local landowners, river users, local businesses and local authorities.

Swimmers at Ironbridge

"We also had to count how many people swim in the river at the sites, to demonstrate that on at least two days of the year more than 100 people had swum. We had one day in Ludlow where there were more than 200 people.

"We must thank everyone who has helped us to get this far. If we are successful the water at each site will be tested weekly by the Environment Agency."

Alison said that when volunteers tested the water last year they recorded "Excellent" water quality, by the EA’s bathing water standards.

Swimmers at Ironbridge

"So people shouldn’t be put off from swimming when the conditions are right," she said.

South Shropshire MP, Philip Dunne welcomed the announcement.

He said: "These new bathing water sites are very welcome news for those who care about our waterways and oceans. I encourage local residents to fill in the consultation to ensure the broadest possible reflection of local support for a bathing water site upstream of Dinham Bridge in Ludlow.”

The consultation for all three sites can be completed online at

The Environment Agency monitors bathing water quality at designated bathing waters in England from May 15 to September 30. It investigates any sources of pollution and recommends measures to improve water quality.

If successful the Environment Agency will identify a water quality sampling point at each site. For river sites, the sampling point will be at the furthest point downstream in the designated bathing area.

The local authority must put up signs from the Environment Agency during the bathing season that provide information to the public about the quality of the water tell the public if there’s a pollution incident.