Our Cotswolds village of Bibury was the 'most beautiful in England' but it's been ruined by the water company | The Sun

Our Cotswolds village of Bibury was the 'most beautiful in England' but it's been ruined by the water company | The Sun

RESIDENTS in the "most beautiful village in England" have been left fuming after their homes were ruined by the water company.

The picturesque town of Bibury in the Cotswolds is so iconic it even features on the inside cover of all UK passports.

But campaigners claim the area – once described by author William Morris in the 19th century as "the most beautiful village in England" – is now being destroyed by Thames Water pumping untreated sewage into its river.

Locals have become so angry at the excrement-led desecration of their idyllic lifestyle they have organised a protest.

And the frustrated residents even went as far as to dress up as human poos and loo rolls to highlight the plight.

The protesters gathered by River Coln in front of the famous 14th century cottages at Arlington Row in an array of striking loo-led costumes.

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The demonstration was held on Earth Day on April 22, 2022 and gained significant attention from passers-by and drivers who waved and honked in encouragement.

Demonstrators said they want to draw attention to the issue and make Thames Water think twice before releasing untreated sewage into the water.

It was organised by Coln Residents Against Pollution members Katie Blackwell, Ollie Blackwell, James Hooper and Oliver Jones.

Katie Blackwell, a jewellery designer, from Quenington, Gloucestershire, said: "We chose to live here because it is a quintessential village that the River Coln runs through.

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"It is an iconic Cotswold scene but they are dumping sewage upstream.

"You can see the cloudiness in the water, you can see brown stuff that is engulfing everything instead of lovely green plants being able to grow.

"We have witnessed dead fish floating in the river."

Katie said that sewage if ruining the way people go about their lives as people no longer let their children play in the water or hang out on the water side.

She said: "The water is no longer a place where we can meet friends and enjoy.

"There used to be a time when the community would go camping down the river but that can't happen anymore.

"We are a group of friends and family, we are sick of the sewage that is being pumped into our rivers – we are so fed up with it."


Katie and her husband Ollie have a son who is eight months old and want him to grow up in a better world.

The mum said: "We grew up in this area and as children we used to regularly play in the Coln River, it was part of our playground.

"Now we won't let our children near the river as the sewage would make them ill or sick.

"Bibury is a popular tourist destination but many are oblivious to the damage the sewage is causing.

"It is destroying beautiful spots across the Cotswold and we want this issue to be addressed.

"We would love to work with Thames Water to solve this issue but it is a constant battle to get in contact with someone who works there."

A spokesperson for Thames Water said: "We don't have a storm overflow point at Bibury, however taking action on river health is a key focus for us and we want to make discharges of untreated sewage unnecessary as quickly as possible.

"We have an upgrade planned for Fairford sewage treatment works which is on the River Coln.

"This project will provide a major increase in treatment capacity, from 37.8 to 56.8 litres per second, reducing the need for untreated discharges in wet weather.

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"We expect the project to be completed in 2025.

"We're also investigating the impact of groundwater on the sewer network in this area. This will help inform our long-term planning."

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