A warm welcome for those in attendanceA warm welcome for those in attendance
A warm welcome for those in attendance

IN PICTURES: Scarborough area WI's join together for clean river campaign

Scarborough area WI’s gathered at North Yorkshire Water Park last month to hear about the work being done to improve the areas waterways.

More than 50 women from Filey, Scarborough Seagals, Scalby & Newby, Cloughton & Burniston, East & West Ayton, Seamer and Snainton WI’s joined together to hear about current initiatives to improve river and sea conditions in and around the town.

A panel of speakers spoke at the event including MP for Scarborough and Whitby - Sir Robert Goodwill, Chris Watt from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Alex Cripps from the Rivers Team at North Yorkshire Moors National Park, James Copeland - senior envionment and land use advisor from the National Farmer’s Union, Alex Reardon - head of the new department of River Health for Yorkshire Water and Steve Crawford from Surfers against Sewage.

Lynn Heaton, from Snainton WI, said: “They each spoke about the challenges and attempts to achieve clean rivers and seas.

“The overall impression was that some progress is being made, particularly from North York Moors National Park and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust who are currently out there working and achieving things.

“We learnt about the use of peat moss of the North York Moors National Park to improve the water table and Steve Crawford from Surfers Against Sewage provided a really good visual impact with a coat covered in all of the things found in the sea which shouldn’t be there, including plastic bottles, sanitary towels and fishing lines.”

The WI, the largest women’s organisation in the UK, launched its Clean Rivers campaign in May, 2023 with the aim of encouraging authorities to clean up rivers by promoting bathing water status.

As part of their commitment, they have joined River Action UK and signed its Charter for Rivers, calling on the government to commit to ambitious yet achievable actions for healthy rivers by 2030.

From riverside picnics to craftivism, WI members across England and Wales have made a splash in their local communities to sound the alarm about the ecological state of the UK’s rivers.

Mrs Heaton said: “The idea is that we want to take the pressure up a level at the forthcoming election.

"Our head office in Thirsk has produced a letter for each WI to sign and send to the proposed candidates ahead of the election.”