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The transformation of the River Windrush

How sewage pollution is affecting your streams and rivers

Let's look further downstream

The River Windrush is fed by a number of limestone springs, such as this one. Limestone filters the water, making it incredibly clear and clean.

Here's footage of the River Windrush from 19XX. It's full of life. The fish you can see are barbel and xxx.


Species, such as water crowfoot (pictured), are being choked and replaced by sewage fungus.

Here's the same stretch of river in 2020. It is full of sewage fungus. Fish and plantlife are struggling to survive.

 Huge quantities of untreated sewage are being released into the river. Sanitary products, xxx and xxx can all be seen.

What will happen if this continues?

Image by Jon Sailer

Many species of fish struggle to spawn in polluted rivers. You may not see dead fish, but fish are dying out.


Water containing untreated sewage is unsafe for humans. In parts of the River Windrush, it is unsafe to let your dog paddle - let alone your children.

How do we know that sewage pollution is to blame?

We're a charity that collects and analyses data on water quality. Without this work, the scale of the pollution in Cotswold rivers would remain hidden.


This photo shows the River Windrush in 2009. The water is clear and the weed is abundant – ideal conditions for wildlife.

River Windrush May 2009.jpg


This photo shows the same spot, 8 years later. As you can see, the water is grey and lifeless. The weed has vanished along with the animals.

River Windrush August 2017.jpg
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