Volunteers Needed to Help Henley Obtain Bathing Water Status

Henley Town Council and the charity Thames21 are working together to seek Bathing Water Status (BWD) in Henley and are looking for volunteers to help with taking water samples and complete user surveys over the summer and are organising a training session on Monday (15 May) between 10.00-1.00pm at Marsh Meadows.

Henley is part of Thames21’s project, Reclaim our Rivers, is a two-year scheme to apply for BWD for four sites in the Thames Basin. They have obtained BWD at Port Meadow in Oxford in 2022, and the Wallingford Bathing Water Project where the outcome is currently be appealed. Thames21 are investigating why Wallingford was unsuccessful in order to take further action to strengthen future applications.

In February, the Town Council’s Recreation & Amenities Committee proposed the installation of steps into the river at Marsh Meadows to facilitate wild swimming and have applied for this under a Lawful Development application.  The provision of the step ladder into the river is connected to, but is not dependent on, the proposal for BWD.

Aggie Hodges from Thames21 said, “Join us to learn about our Bathing Water Designation project and how you can be involved.  Bathing Water Status would mean Henley-on-Thames would receive regular water quality monitoring and reduced sewage pollution, resulting in a healthier river for all to enjoy.  Over the summer bathing period (May-September) we’ll be collecting data on water quality and river usage as evidence to present to DEFRA in our application to achieve Bathing Water Status at Henley-on-Thames, and we need your help.”

Volunteers are invited to come and learn how to take water samples and user surveys. All equipment, sampling bottles and PPE will be provided by Thames21.

This project is funded by the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Fishmongers’ Company, in partnership with Henley Town Council, with sampling services kindly provided by Thames Water.

For more information contact Aggie at: agnes.hodges@thames21.org.uk 

Register here: https://book.timetospare.com/e/Yv43cYWy6GtcdkLZNMwL



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