ANTI-SEWAGE groups were joined by Cotswold MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton–Brown to discuss the threat to local rivers, only to find dead fish in Bibury.

They met on the River Coln at the iconic Bibury village where trout swim in one of the many inland waterways now under threat from sewage pollution.

The MP, Surfers Against Sewage Cotswolds’ Debbie Campbell and Windrush Against Sewage Pollution’s Ash Smith were shocked to find fish at the site which appeared to have died due to pollution.

Sir Geoffrey said: “Expecting to find some rubbish and signs of sewage, we were shocked to find six dead fish all found in one spot.

“We also found sediment, brown algae smothering the weed and riverbed and turning over stones no sign of invertebrates, a bad sign for the biodiversity and health of the river.

“This demonstrated in one of our major tourist areas, what an important issue pollution in rivers is. Everyone involved including Defra, the Environment Agency, and Thames Water, must put in far greater effort to restore limestone rivers.

“Otherwise, the next generation will not inherit pristine, clear, rivers full of wildlife as they will have been destroyed”.

More than 400,000 sewage discharges into water ways occurred across the UK last year, according to Surfers Against Sewage.

Only 14 per cent of rivers in England meet good ecological status, the group found.

Debbie Campbell said: “As a lifelong surfer and wild swimmer I was shocked when I moved to the Cotswolds.

“I love wild swimming for my health, diving into fresh cold water to find I was actually swimming in polluted waters.

“I have two children aged seven and six who love to have fun in the River Dunt but it was no fun recently when the stream smelt of sewage.”

“I have become a river activist I have been appalled by the lack of fish and by stories from trout fishers who wade through polluted water and cannot find any fish to catch and release.