100 people attend River Swale public meeting

Questions from the public at last night's meeting.

More than 100 people attended a meeting held to discuss threats to the River Swale.

The event was organised by the community group Save Our Swale and was held last night at Richmond Town Hall.

Celine Barry, from the group, said people had to be turned away from the meeting.

“Over 100 people heard from Charlotte Simons from the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust, Ron Wood from Richmond District Angling Society, scientist Keith Thomas who interpreted the data on pollution levels in the Swale and Deborah Meara, who presented the case for obtaining designated bathing water status (DBWS) for Richmond.

“After hearing that there was fecal matter, E. coli, nitrates and phosphates in the river, there was near unanimous support for making the application to Defra for DBWS.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/SaveOurSwale/


  1. Surely the key priority should be the preservation of the River Life and it’s environment from the polluters, suitability for bathing and swimming in any River should be well down the environmental agenda why spend funding on local swimming bath facilities if Wild River Swimming takes priority?

    • I think you miss the point Mike. The whole point of Designated Bathing Water Status is that if we get it,the Environment Agency will be required to monitor levels of E. coli and intestinal enterococci at designated bathing waters. The will be good for River Life as you put it, as well as human life. They also look for indications of cyanobacteria, macro-algae, marine phytoplankton and waste.
      Also, Richmond pool is out of action for the summer so all the more reason to make sure the river is healthy. We won’t get DBWS quickly but in the meantime we can be lobbying Yorkshire Water not to discharge sewage from any storm overflow pipes on the stretch of river that most people like to use in Richmond.

  2. Hi Mike, I spoke at the meeting as a local angler. We do a lot of work on the river improving the habitat and making enhancements to benefit nature. The SOS campaign involves many people with different interests. We all want the same thing. A clean river. Regards, Ron

  3. Hi Mike, it was an excellent presentation last night, that clearly presented the state of the Swale and what has to be done to clean it up. The main issue appears to be obstacles put in place by the government to prevent a clean up from happening.

  4. Good on all who turned up to this meeting plus those who were unable to get in! – so many wanting the same thing – hopefully finance wont be a hindrance to getting the river cleaned up.

  5. Even though I live in Wensleydale, this is something I feel very strongly about. Those organisations that pollute our land & rivers should be named, shamed & find substantial sums by the legal system.
    Apologies for my ignorance in asking this question but who is responsible for inspecting the quality of our river water & are there enough of them to be able to carry out regular inspections?

    • If you fine them, they just put the costs onto the customers.
      They need to have their licences revoked and the business taken into public ownership in the case of water companies.

  6. It’s not just the Swale that needs looking at. Gayle Beck, that runs through Hawes, needs looking at.
    Someone is discharging waste, that makes the river turn white.

  7. Nobody is pointing the finger at Rishi the man where the buck stops. If he chose to he could get things done quicker than anyone. I suspect there are many sycophantic locals but he should be called out for his relative inactivity on the subject.

Comments are closed.