Tusko’s new documentary: SEVERN: The poisoning of Britain’s Amazon.

SEVERN: The poisoning of Britain’s Amazon


In Tusko’s new documentary, created for The ENDS Report: SEVERN: The poisoning of Britain’s Amazon, whistleblowers – including current and former Environment Agency officers — say that the regulator is ignoring its duties and failing to hold water companies to account.

The film looks at some of the pollution problems facing the Severn’s basin, which is home to around 400 rivers, 29 lakes and 33 groundwater bodies, and where, at the Environment Agency’s last assessment, just 45 were found to be in good ecological condition.

Across England just 14% of rivers are in good ecological condition and none are in good chemical condition.

Whistleblowers working at the agency have told ENDS that resources have been diverted away from water quality activities, which means they are unable to tackle polluters, such as water companies which discharge raw sewage into rivers and farmers, whose runoff can have catastrophic impacts on wildlife.

Watch SEVERN: The poisoning of Britain’s Amazon, trailer here:

“The Environment Agency leadership is currently congratulating itself in internal emails for shifting the focus of the water quality scandal from themselves to the polluters,” said one whistleblower.

“That epitomises the attitude of the regulator. Water quality was de-prioritised by the Environment Agency a decade ago when it decided it was suitable for self-regulation. This continues to be the case. Any changes in how water quality is regulated will be because of the public outcry, not because the Environment Agency suddenly considers water quality a priority.”

All three insiders said the rules and laws were in place to enable the agency to tackle pollution, but that they were not being enforced and that dwindling resources was making this increasingly difficult.

The Environment Agency said it is in the “process of writing an action plan for the river Severn to address how we can help salmon in the Severn recover stocks to a sustainable level. This includes regulation, advice and actions for all sectors who have an impact on the river and its water quality”.

It plans to use its small budget uplift of £44m to “step up efforts to improve water quality” but cautions that “the cost of what we do and the number of tasks we are required to perform have risen much faster” than its budget and that is has to “make some difficult choices, including to reduce or stop activities for which we are not funded”.

Watch SEVERN: The poisoning of Britain’s Amazon, trailer here:

SEVERN: The poisoning of Britain’s Amazon is an original production produced for The ENDS Report. The ENDS Report is the UK’s No 1 source of intelligence for environmental professionals, delivering news, analysis and reference across the carbon, environmental and sustainability agenda. With over 40 years of industry knowledge, the editorial team delivers expert knowledge that helps you manage costs and risks around environmental factors and identify new business opportunities.

Tusko is an award winning creative agency headquartered in Bristol, with an office in London. We specialise in Content, Web, Branding, and Ethical Marketing. Our name Tusko, and our logo has a reference to an elephant – that’s the elephant in the room. Big things that we sometimes just don’t talk enough about. In this case we’ve exposed the ineffectiveness of the Environment Agency in protecting the UK’s waters. Some amazing recent news, we’re also really excited to share that we’ve been shortlisted for this Sunday’s Royal Television Society Awards for a documentary we made about the American prison system – more on this here.




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