The Ilkley Gazette reports: ILKLEY Clean River Campaign is applying for the River Wharfe to be designated for swimming in a bid to rid it of pollution.
Ilkley would be the first in the UK to achieve this status if it can be proved that the public plays, paddles and swims in the river.
Becky Malby, of the campaign group said: “We are applying for Designated Bathing Water status between the Old Bridge and Denton Bridge to cover the entire area where locals and tourists enjoy the river. This would put pressure on the water agencies to ensure they are not polluting the river with raw sewage, and would make our river fit to paddle and play in.
“To prove that we need a clean river we are required to count people on the river bank and playing in the river over the period May 15 to September 30.
“To do this we need to photograph (long shot not close up) and count people in the river at least 20 times over the summer. We need to count the number of adults and children separately, and state the numbers related to swimming, paddling, playing (inflatables), and on the riverbank. We are looking for volunteers to help us with the counting. We provide you with a Ilkley Clean River Group t-shirt, clicker, form and information flyers (as people are bound to ask what you are up too). You volunteer to do two or more counts in one week (choose your week) between May and September. You count when there are a lot of people there!
“We will present the interim results at a Town Meeting on the 11th July and also update everyone on the results of the Citizen Water Testing. If you have comments on the Designated Bathing Water Status, or can volunteer for counting please let us know on our website https://sites.google.com/view/cleanwharfeilkley/home?authuser=0
or Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Ilkley-Clean-River-Group-431201944302819/
Ilkley Clean River Group’s second Ilkley Town Meeting is on July 11 from 5.30pm – 7pm in Christchurch.
Data from the citizen testing and the bathing count will be shared and MP John Grogan will be there along with new Town Mayor, Mark Stidworthy.
Becky added: “Do come and hear our progress and contribute your thoughts to the campaign and contribute to the consultation on Bathing Water Status.”