A group of Gloucestershire students kayaked the length of the River Thames in nine days to raise awareness about water pollution. The challenge would raise money for Surfers Against Sewage while also documenting current levels of river pollution. They were scheduled to arrive at Canvey Island in Essex 200 miles (321 kilometers) later from the Cirencester village of Coates. Water samples would be collected along the route to document river pollution. Raw sewage, microplastics, and slurry were found in all of England’s rivers, endangering human health and the environment, according to a parliamentary report. A tutor and four Cirencester College students made up the group, which hoped to raise awareness about the UK’s polluted rivers.

The Environmental Audit Committee found that no rivers in England were in “good” health as of 2022 and that 83 percent of freshwater species were declining globally. As per Joshua Govier, when doing a lot of water sports, such as kayaking, you can see different colors and smells on the water; it’s not pleasant to be on. He stated that he volunteered for the challenge because he was concerned about the river’s pollution levels, which could cause people to become ill.