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Creating a better place

Working towards a cleaner Wharfe – a closer look at water quality testing at Ilkley’s bathing water

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The image shows a photograph of the River Wharfe at Cromwheel, with a view to the suspension bridge across the river.

In December 2020, a stretch of the River Wharfe at Cromwheel, Ilkley, in Yorkshire was designated a bathing water by Defra,the first section of a river in the country to become a bathing water. Yorkshire’s Bathing Waters lead Claire Campbell …

2023 Event Duration Monitoring Data Publication

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Environment Agency, Regulated industry, Water

Today (Wednesday 27 March) we have published storm overflow (Event Duration Monitoring data) for the 2023 calendar year. Event Duration Monitors record the number and duration of spills from storm overflows. To view mapped data visit Storm Overflow Spill Frequency (  …

Cleaning up rivers polluted by abandoned metal mines

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The Force Crag mine water treatment ponds, Lake District. Photo by John Malley.

The problems facing water are complex, with multiple sources of pollution affecting water quality. One of the lesser-known areas of the Environment Agency’s work is cleaning up pollution from abandoned metal mines.
Mining played a major part in Britain’s rich industrial history, but this also left thousands of abandoned mines scattered across our landscape. Almost all these mines had closed by the early 1900s but they are still releasing harmful metals including lead, cadmium and copper. This is one of the top 10 issues for water quality in England as it harms fish and river insects. Abandoned mines are the largest source of metals to British rivers and seas (click here for more information). Pollution is localised to about 1,500km of rivers - mainly in the North East, Cumbria, Yorkshire & Cornwall.

Helping to keep rivers flowing but not flooding

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Environment Agency
Clump of weeds being lifted

Debbie Thompson leads the Stour Field Team and has been with the Environment Agency for 15 years.
Here, Debbie explains how the team works throughout the year to help protect communities from flooding and improve the environment for people and nature.
The 14-strong field team can be seen working across this large chunk of east Kent on most days of the year.