Step 4

Creating your campaign & making some noise!

It is important to create some noise on why designation is needed to ensure your community and stakeholders get on board and support the application before it is submitted. Bringing your community on the journey with you is vital to ensure they feel engaged in the process. When demonstrating the water quality issues in your waterway, you’ll need factual information which can be referenced if you are asked.

Defining the issue at the centre of the campaign

Within your community group have a clear aim of what change you want to see at your bathing site. This will strengthen your campaign message to focus on what designation means for you and your waterway. Some Aims that might help you decide which is a priority for your waterway and community:

Aim: Designation will improve access to our blue spaces and bathing site

Aim: Designation will hold polluters to account to stop dumping untreated sewage at our bathing site

Aim: Designation will identify the polluters that are impacting our bathing site

Aim: Designation will provide water users with the information they need to assess the risks in using our bathing site

Campaign methods

When campaigning, remember to use methods that are inclusive so all of your community can engage. Take a look at our advice on inclusive methods of consultation which can also be applied to campaigning.

Social media

Create a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram account – Starting social media campaigning early in your planning will help in growing your community and then keeping them updated on progress. It is a useful tool in reaching out to other water users or conservation groups by ‘tagging’ them in your posts. Use social media to promote any petition you decide to run.

Social banners & campaign headers

Social post content templates

Email newsletter

Write a monthly newsletter with updates on how things are progressing. Include updates on the campaign process, any water quality testing results, application process, volunteer opportunities and up and coming consultation events. Mailchimp is a free tool that you can use to design and email lots of people.

Local press

Contact your local newspaper and radio station to promote the work that you are doing. Local press can also be used to encourage stakeholders to get on board and also recruit volunteers to support in the application process. Send a press release to your local newspaper that they can publish.

We’ve created a press release template for you to update for your campaign, and a press pack containing campaign logos which you can share directly with the newspaper.

Press release template

Campaign press pack

Local support

Contact your MP and Councillor to update them on your plan to make an application and make them aware of the issues affecting your waterway. Include a briefing note to explain the importance of bathing water designation at a national level. Ask for a letter of support to include in your application.

Connect with other MP’s on the same stretch of river to update them on the water quality issues and your plans applying for bathing water designation. Your MP can help with spreading the word.

Contact your town, parish and local authority and ask to attend any meetings to talk about your plans. The support of local people at an influential level will help in the success of your campaign. Encourage local councillors to table a motion to support bathing water designation.

Draft MP email / letter template

Download the briefing note

Demand change from your water company

Contact your water company to request a meeting. Explain that you are applying for bathing water designation. Demand that real-time sewage pollution alerts are installed on combined sewage overflows in your waterway and discharges are monitored. SAS can then include these on the Safer Seas and River Service.

Water company letter template

Downloadable resources

Useful links & websites

Submission checklist

Get help
& support

Explore the campaign map