Layla Moran has backed an application for bathing status for parts of the Thames in Oxford. An application for bathing status is being made to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs this month for bathing status at Port Meadow, as part of a campaign to clean up our rivers.
Layla recently met with local campaigners in Wolvercote, including Oxford Rivers Project Officer Claire Robertson, to discuss cleaning up local rivers. If the bathing status is granted, it will create incentives to keep the river clean and limit potential pollutants in the river. The designation puts a duty on the Environment Agency to test the water regularly, and the landowner to display signage on water quality.
Layla Moran MP speaking with Oxford Rivers Project Officer Claire Robertson
Research by the Oxford Rivers Project has shown that, in months with heavier rainfall, bacteria levels were on average twice the recommended safety threshold, meaning there were enough bacteria to cause illness to anyone coming into contact with the water.
Layla Moran MP said: “Our river is an important part of so many local people’s lives, from those who live on it to those who swim in it. I was so delighted to see how many people re-discovered our natural landscape during the pandemic, with lots of new swimmers in the river. It can be so positive for people’s mental health, but we need to keep it clean, so there is no risk to their physical health to use it.
“We have such amazing natural beauty in our city, and it’s time we treat it right. I completely back calls to end unnecessary pollution of Oxfordshire’s rivers - we can’t take them for granted.”