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Our Troubled Rivers 5 Mar 2023 NOW ON iPLAYER: Paul Whitehouse travels around England and Wales looking at the pressures on our rivers and waterways

Paul explores what is going on beneath the surface, why our rivers and waterways are in decline and what needs to be done to protect them.

The first episode features Ash Smith of WASP (Windrush against Sewage Pollution) who recently gave a powerful presentation to the Eynsham Society.

Starting tonight at 20:00 on BBC Two... watch it on iPlayer NOW

In Episode One, Paul travels through the North of England looking at the impact water companies have on our rivers. He explores the change in the water industry since privatisation in 1989 and what regulations are in place when it comes to sewage discharge into our rivers.

He meets concerned locals in Yorkshire looking to highlight the health of the River Wharfe, a conservationist who warns of the ecological decline in iconic Lake Windemere, and the man at the front of the battle for our waterways, Feargal Sharkey.

In Episode Two, Paul continues his journey, travelling to Wales and the south of England. Visiting the River Wye, he sees how explosions of algae, caused by fertilizer runoff from farming, are part of a cocktail overwhelming the habitat.

He travels to Hampshire, where he hears about the damage being caused to our rare and precious chalk streams, before discovering how regular sewage discharges on the coast are causing problems for Whitstable’s famous oyster industry. Ending his journey in London, Paul find a beacon of hope: the £4.4 billion Thames Tideway super sewer.


BACKGROUND READING: The Great Stink

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