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Celebrities join forces to engage the public in Britain’s river pollution crisis with new animation series.

In just three words, ‘This is Sh*t’ and a more PG-friendly version ‘This is Poo’, the animations summarise the outrage felt by communities across the nation about river pollution and their demand for the Government to prioritise rescuing rivers everywhere.  They tell the story of the plight of Britain’s rivers in a charmingly simplistic way that will be sure to make viewers laugh but also think about and act upon the crisis facing rivers and those who are causing it.

Commenting on the crisis facing our rivers:

Stephen Fry says:“Now is the time to focus all the voices that have been upraised lately disgusted protest at the high-handed, cack-handed way in which water companies have been dumping raw sewage into our rivers. Rivers are a nation’s priceless couriers of life, health and beauty. Whether it’s swimming, rowing a boat, dipping a hand into the current, playing Pooh sticks over abridge or sitting on the banks and watching the mayflies and dragonflies dance in the air, rivers and streams bring us all solace and enchantment. To befoul them with our shit is a desecration of everything we should hold dear. 

We’ve been here before. The Great Stink of 1858 caused such a stench in the River Thames that plans were made to move Parliament out of London. We have to raise a great stink of our own now and force Parliament to act. That’s why I am lending my voice to this cheeky animation with a serious message. We all need healthy rivers so I urge everyone to sign River Action’s Rescue Our Rivers Petition to make your voice heard too.

Paul Whitehouse says: “Due to the efforts of some dedicated people we have all become aware of the terrible state of our precious rivers. Often this is the result of mismanagement and bad practice by our Water Companies; the very organisations that should be safeguarding them; and industrial farming. It’s time to call them to account. This aptly named animation ‘This is Shit’ reminds the ‘powers that be’ that we won’t go away until we have clean rivers and coastlines.”

Alexander Armstrong says: “This is one of the most important environmental issues of our time. For far too long it has been ignored while our water companies and big agribusinesses have been lining their pockets. We need to get tough and the Government and their appropriate agencies need to know how much we care. We must all give our rivers a voice as they can’t speak for themselves, sign the petition today”

Sunetra Sarker says:“We are in a freshwater emergency and its time politicians and all political parties took the state of our rivers seriously. For too long water companies and industrial agriculture have been pumping pollution into our rivers and now they’re in a shocking state. All the while, Water Companies have been making record profits. We, the public, demand better. I’m proud to be part of River Action’s campaign and to lend my voice to rivers. Please watch, share and sign the petition.”

Tiggy Pettifer says:“River pollution is a national disgrace and they are dying in front of our eyes as whole ecosystems are decimated by sewage and agricultural runoff.  It’s unbelievably heartbreaking to see the numbers of fish declining at such a rapid pace on the rivers I fish on. It is time to stop it NOW. Vote for healthy rivers and sign River Action’s petition today.”

Charles Watson, Chairman and founder of River Action says:“Our rivers are literally awash with excrement: human; cattle; chicken. Using humour, we are illustrating this by releasing a series of short films involving some amazing creative talent. However, the desperate state of our rivers is no laughing matter. Our call to arms to rescue Britain’s rivers could not be coming at a more critical time”

The animation series has been released as the water industry faces significant financial difficulties and continues to be at the centre of the public and political spotlight. The animations draw attention to the fact that sewage was poured into our waterways over 300,000 times last year, on average every 90 seconds. They also highlight the significant role the agricultural industry has on river health with thousands of tonnes of agricultural pollution washed into rivers every year, choking wildlife. A total of 26,000 tonnes of phosphate leaches into rivers from the agricultural industry annually. Entire river systems in the UK are being poisoned by the waste from intensive poultry production, becoming a wildlife death trap. This toxic cocktail of pollution is causing significant harm to river wildlife with only 14% of Britain’s rivers meeting good ecological status.

Our ‘Rescue Britain’s Rivers’ petition, already signed by over 70,000 concerned citizens and now backed by all those who have lent their voice to the animations, calls for healthy rivers for people and nature by 2030. Specifically, River Action is appealing to the Government and all political parties to take urgent action on sewage pollution, agricultural pollution, chemical pollution, water abstraction, investment in enforcement and regulation and reforms to planning.





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