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'Stop the Poo' march takes to streets of Sudbury to protest against pollution in River Stour



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A campaign against the pollution of Suffolk’s rivers took to the streets to highlight its message, in an eye-catching ‘Stop the Poo’ demonstration at the weekend.

More than 70 protesters marched from Sudbury Town Hall to Friars Meadow on Saturday afternoon to raise awareness of the extent of pollution of the River Stour, and to demand action to stop the discharge of sewage into the water.

A report earlier this year found that none of the county’s rivers met national pollution standards.

Green campaigners held a protest march to raise awareness of the poor water quality of the River Stour in Sudbury.....Picture: Mecha Morton. (58187825)
Green campaigners held a protest march to raise awareness of the poor water quality of the River Stour in Sudbury.....Picture: Mecha Morton. (58187825)

Independent research has also indicated that readings of the E. coli bacteria in the Stour were 20 times over accepted safety levels.

Green campaigner Laura Smith told Suffolk News: “We attracted a lot of attention from passers-by and people working in the town centre, who didn’t know about the march or the reasons we were protesting.

“We had a good day and it was a fun way to demonstrate the public is opposed to pollution in the river.

Green campaigners held a protest march to raise awareness of the poor water quality of the River Stour in Sudbury.....Picture: Mecha Morton. (58187882)
Green campaigners held a protest march to raise awareness of the poor water quality of the River Stour in Sudbury.....Picture: Mecha Morton. (58187882)

“It was a good opportunity to talk to people who didn’t know about the issues and inform them about the state of the river – the fact that E.coli is present in dangerous levels in the river water, and that Anglian Water pumped raw sewage into our rivers for over 1,800 hours last year.

“Anglian Water claims not to have the funds to solve this issue, yet it pays out millions of pounds in dividends to shareholders.

“We saw a lot of posts on Facebook asking about the march. The poo hats, costumes and the giant poo, in particular, attracted a lot of attention.

Green campaigners held a protest march to raise awareness of the poor water quality of the River Stour in Sudbury.....Picture: Mecha Morton. (58187827)
Green campaigners held a protest march to raise awareness of the poor water quality of the River Stour in Sudbury.....Picture: Mecha Morton. (58187827)

"Many people commented that they know of children who have become ill after swimming in the Stour.”