A paddle-out protest is to be held in Aberystwyth this weekend against sewage pollution.

People are being encouraged to grab their surfboards, paddles, swimsuits and placards on Aberystwyth's north beach on Saturday afternoon as part of a national day of protest, coordinated by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), who are calling for an end to the sewage discharges plaguing the UK’s rivers and seas, as sewage overflows continue to have a devastating impact on ecological and human health.

This is the first time such a protest has been held in Aberystwyth and around 30 are being held across the UK spanning from Cornwall to Edinburgh.

The Aberystwyth event will be taking place on North Beach, meeting next to the Bandstand, at 2pm.

Surfers against sewage
Protesters in Penarth last year (Aaron Jones)

Organisers say that if you don't fancy getting wet, people are welcome to support from the beach.

Giles Bristow, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage, said: “Once again, the public face a grim choice this summer - risk swallowing shit or forego a dip in the water.

“This year offers an opportunity to turn our collective anger into action and end the sewage scandal, with panicked politicians in listening mode, desperate to ride the waves of popular sentiment.

"A general election is imminent, and the public are out on the beach fronts and riverbanks making it clear that the issue of sewage pollution is at the top of the agenda. Ahead of the election, all parties need to show people genuine and quantifiable commitments to eliminate sewage pollution, or suffer the consequences.

“Like those paddling-out at Aberystwyth, thousands are protesting on the water this weekend to let politicians, regulators and water companies know that the public aren’t going to let them wriggle out of demands for clean seas and rivers. We’re calling for plans that are ambitious enough to end sewage pollution in high-priority nature sites, and the waters we surf, swim and paddle in, by 2030, putting people and nature before profit. We won’t tolerate this broken system any longer.”

Double Gold medal-winning Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes, who will be paddling out with protesters in Brighton, said: “I love nothing more than getting out into the open water on my paddle-board - it does wonders for my mental health, and there's such a sense of community amongst those who use our wild waterways for sport and recreation.

“But this incredibly special pastime has been tainted for all of us by the persistent risk of getting sick from pollution. The poor state of our rivers and seas is shocking and infuriating. Whole generations are being deprived of the right to safely enjoy the benefits that blue spaces offer. Our waterways are for us and should be here to enjoy as they are so important for our collective health and wellbeing. Events costing thousands are getting cancelled. To see our rivers and seas being treated so appallingly by those responsible for looking after them is nothing short of a national scandal.”

“I’m paddling out with Surfers Against Sewage and thousands of water-lovers across the country because I’m passionate about our waterways, I’m angry about what’s being done to them, and I want the polluters and those in power to hear our demands to end sewage pollution now.”

SAS is calling for an end to sewage discharges into all bathing waters, and high-priority nature sites, by 2030.

Those wanting to take part in Aberystwyth are encouraged to wear high visibility clothing and life jackets and all under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.

To keep up with the latest, visit SAS' local Facebook event page here.

Paddle out protests are also being held at Broad Haven in Pembrokeshire from 12pm, Llanfairfechan Beach in north Wales at 9.30am and Caswell Bay on the Gower at 9am.