Wetherby and Boston Spa bid for Bathing Water Status for River Wharfe

Wetherby and Boston Spa are applying for Bathing Water Status for the River Wharfe, it has been announced this week.

By Janet Harrison
Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 2:22 pm
Bathing Water Status bid for the River Wharfe in Wetherby and Boston Spa.
Bathing Water Status bid for the River Wharfe in Wetherby and Boston Spa.

And campaigners are urging people to attend an information event on Saturday and take part in a survey.

Wetherby Ward Coun Linda Richards explained: “Bathing Water Status is important because it then will mean that the quality of the water has to be monitored.

“Obviously those people using the water in the many ways they do,whether it be children paddling, adults swimming, people paddle boarding, all those sorts of things, need to be better safeguarded.

“Plus there is the overall environmental and ecological issue of fish and other species in the river.”

Ilkley was the first place in the country to have a Bathing Water Status accredited and studies were carried out in Boston Spa and Wetherby to provide information for that application.

“The River Wharfe was tested all through its stretch and that was how we got involved in the process,” added Coun Richards.

“The launch on Saturday is to ask for as much community involvement as possible because we need to count the people who use the river and how they use the river.

“It won’t guarantee instant improvement but it is a stage in the process of recognising the importance of the river as a resource for the area.”

The open event will take place at Wetherby Town Hall on Saturday July 9, 10am-1pm and then at Boston Spa’s Millennium Square from 1.30pm.

The campaigners have until October to gather evidence and Coun Richards said it is important that people get behind the survey.

“It is important as it impacts a lot of people. A lot of people use the river in many ways. It is a natural resource.”

Concerns over water quality and polution in the River Wharfe at Wetherby and Boston Spa have been raised by councillors and environmentalists in the past.