THE latest set of figures released by the Environment Agency revealed that just 15 per cent of England’s rivers achieved the results needed to reach ‘good’ ecological status – an increase of just one per cent from similar surveys conducted in 2016 and 2019.

In the Ribble Catchment, the 96 rivers, canals and lakes assessed followed a similar trend with none meeting the chemical standards required, and 76 per cent failing to meet ‘good’ ecological status.

Additionally, for the first time, none of England’s rivers achieved ‘good’ chemical status. This is down from 97 per cent in 2016’s results – although changes have been made to the process with new, more stringent standards. The results suggest that pollution from sewage discharge, chemicals and agriculture are the main factors impacting river health.

In addition to highlighting the full spectrum of environmental challenges facing our rivers, the data also highlight the most urgent priorities for tackling pollution at its source to protect rivers from polluters.

Jack Spees CEO of Ribble Rivers Trust said: “The results published by the Environment Agency should be the wake-up call that not only is change needed for our rivers, but our environment as a whole. Rivers are the best indicator of how we are using our whole environment and this doesn’t paint a pretty picture."