Saturday, 6 October 2018

A Souvenir of Southampton Water

I'm not saying Southampton Water is polluted, but ... Well, actually, I am. Which is hardly controversial: it is. I mean, Southampton is in the national Top Ten for air pollution, thanks to the docks and the Fawley refinery, so it's hardly surprising that the body of water that separates one from the other is far from pristine, what with office-block-sized boats going up and down it all day.

I wouldn't even consider swimming in it, unless by some appalling mischance I fell in, but apparently local author Philip Hoare does most days. I imagine he has the water pretty much to himself, setting aside the ocean liners, container ships, and smaller craft that churn through this cloaca maxima of heavy-metal and fuel-oil pollution. Occasionally, when we hosted a conference or seminar, naive visitors from abroad would ask where the nearest and safest bathing beach might be located. "Bournemouth", was the only responsible answer.


Gavin McL said...

You're probably right to be suspcious - and this report doesnt even cover the chemical pollution

Mike C. said...


Extraordinary that anyone would even consider eating shellfish out of Southampton Water... Like looking for snacks in a landfill site. Which admittedly does seem to be the main hobby of seagulls.