Stretch of water in Yorkshire will be assessed for bacteria levels as it is named the country’s first official river bathing site
The thrill of plunging into the water off a rugged stretch of coast or into a remote river is what makes wild swimming such an exhilarating pastime.
But for those who just want to dip their toe into this hobby, the town of Ilkley may be the thing for you.
A stretch of the Wharfe in North Yorkshire is the first river bathing site in the country.
And its bathing water status means the Environment Agency will regularly take samples from the river to assess whether action is needed to cut bacteria levels.
A stretch of the Wharfe in North Yorkshire is the first river bathing site in the country
The water will be monitored from May next year, said the Department for Environment.
And to make the river suitable for swimming, Yorkshire Water said it will reduce sewage overflows caused by storms.
Celebrities including the Beckhams and Ed Sheeran have taken up wild swimming in their private lakes.
One celebrity fan, David Walliams, suffered vomiting and diarrhoea after swimming in the Thames.
Yorkshire Water said it will reduce sewage overflows caused by storms
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: ‘The residents of Ilkley and the surrounding area have shown their overwhelming appreciation for the River Wharfe as an asset to enjoy and protect.
‘I am delighted that this stretch of river will be the first river to host a designated bathing water site.
‘Unfortunately, we all know that water quality won’t change overnight.
‘It will take time and we need farmers and businesses to commit to achieve the necessary improvements.
‘I am pleased to see Yorkshire Water stepping forward with new proposals today to help move things in the right direction.’
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