Home > Uncategorized > Bathing Water Designation for the Cam at Sheep’s Green

Newnham’s Labour councillor, Cameron Holloway, supports Cam Valley Forum’s application to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for Bathing Water Designation for the River Cam at Sheep’s Green. 

Sheep’s Green has been a widely recognised swimming spot for over a century. It is an area of natural beauty AND an accessible, equalising space where anyone can enjoy swimming for free. Despite concerns about water quality in the Cam, many residents enjoy wild swimming there.

Bathing Water Designation demands the monitoring and display of water quality data. This reliable information would allow people to make informed choices about whether they feel safe to swim in the river.

Anglian Water’s current business plan states that they have budgeted at least £5m to upgrade the ageing and overloaded sewage works at Haslingfield and will release this if the Cam gains Designated Bathing Water status. This upgrade would benefit the whole stretch of river downstream through Cambridge.

Cam Valley Forum ran a 10 week online consultation for their application. This received 509 responses from local residents and over 93% supported Bathing Water Designation.

In July, Cameron seconded a motion to the City Council supporting Cam Valley Forum’s application. This motion was passed by the council and then considered by the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee on 5 October. The committee also overwhelmingly backed the application. Only Jean Glasberg, Newnham’s Green councillor, opposed it. The application will now be submitted to DEFRA.