“I first became aware of raw sewage entering the River Wharfe at Ilkley because my friend, a fisherman, was complaining that instead of catching fish he was catching sanitary products, condoms and toilet paper. So I decided to investigate.

What I found was shocking.

Last April sewage was pumping out for a whole week with such force the plume reached right across to the opposite bank and flowed downstream as far as the eye could see, turning our beautiful river into an open sewer.

The river was so low the sewage was flooding across the now exposed pebble beach into the water where families were picnicking and playing all summer.

Since then we’ve found the permit for the pumping station upstream of Ilkley hasn’t been reviewed since 1970. Clean water is vital for life on our planet, and these outdated permits are a licence to pollute, endangering the future of generations to come.

It seems the Environment Agency doesn’t have the will or power to effectively regulate the water industry. The question could be asked ‘are they protecting the water industries profits at the expense of our rivers?'”