Yorkshire river first in England to gain designated bathing status

ITV News reports: A popular swimming and paddling spot in Yorkshire has become the first designated river bathing site in England.

The stretch of the River Wharfe, between Main Bridge and Beanlands Island in Ilkley, will be added to the list of waters in England granted bathing status by the Government from 2021.

The river will be monitored by the Environment Agency from May, helping to make the water cleaner and safer for swimmers.

The decision was made following a public consultation and means that samples will regularly be taken from the river between May and September to assess if action is needed to cut bacteria levels.

Bathing water sites, on the coast and on certain lakes, have been monitored by the Environment Agency since the 1990s and have seen a significant improvement in water quality during this time.

Any surface water can be designated as a bathing site if it is used by a large number of people and meets requirements and there are currently 12 inland bathing waters in England – all on lakes. More...