Henley Mermaids swim to protest River Pollution

A Team of girls dubbed the ‘Henley Mermaids’ are ending a summer time-prolonged swim of the duration of the River Thames to protest towards river air pollution.

Individuals are invited to obtain at Red Lion Lawn, beside Henley Bridge, on Saturday, November 5 at 9am to celebrate Laura Reineke, Jo Robb, Fiona Print, Susan Barry and Joan Fennelly finishing the swim.

They women of all ages started the swim in June at Cricklade and have considering the fact that swum very long stretches of river all through the summer season, which include Witney, Oxford, Wallingford, Pangbourne, elevating revenue for the environmental charity Surfers Against Sewage.

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They have met campaigners, anglers, lock keepers, rowers and boatspeople alongside the way, campaigning for a clean ocean, rivers and lakes for wildlife and persons.

“It has been outstanding to see the River Thames from its source,” mentioned Ms Reineke. “A tiny but effective trickle by the highway in Cricklade to the majestic river it becomes in Henley.

“We are so blessed to have this breathtaking pure useful resource on our doorstep. We need to safeguard it.”

Mrs Barry, who was attacked by an aggressive swan close to Lechlade, said: “Despite being savaged by swans and freezing numerous swims, it has been 1 of the highlights of my swimming existence.

“Seeing the Thames from the issue of check out of a swimmer is so exclusive. I would suggest it to anybody.”

Mrs Print, who devised the strategy for the Thames swim, extra: “We’ve uncovered hidden pieces of the river that only the birds and fish at any time get to see.

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“Tiny bridges, appropriate-angled turns, knee-deep water and fallen trees gave way to the dreaming spires of Oxford and the elegance of the stretches through South Oxfordshire. It really is been excellent.”

Ms Fennelly, who together with Ms Reineke swam the North Channel this calendar year, claimed: “It is been an incredible year with a array of various issues but viewing our have river from its supply to home has been extra special.”

The women of all ages have expressed their alarm at the ongoing sewage pollution disaster that reveals no signal of abating.

Mrs Robb, who is a South Oxfordshire district councillor, explained: “It’s devastating and angering that Thames Water continues to dump uncooked sewage into the River Thames, in soaked weather conditions and dry, for the reason that of its ongoing failure to make investments adequately in sewerage infrastructure and due to the fact of the full failure of the regulators and government to effectively control the industry.

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“This condition is the immediate consequence of many years of the failure of privatised drinking water monopolies to make investments in infrastructure and the failure of a defunded Setting Company and OFWAT to maintain them to account.”


This tale was created by Gee Harland. She joined the group in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee addresses Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: [email protected] kingdom

Comply with her on Twitter @Geeharland

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