Designation unknown: Have efforts to clean up England’s most polluted sites stalled?

Work to remediate contaminated land appears to have dried up along with government funding. Gareth Simkins investigates

Sefton Meadows

Despite appearances, Sefton Meadows is one of England’s most contaminated sites and a significant source of water pollution

While it is rarely a pleasant sight, the contaminated land under regulation by the Environment Agency (EA) is certainly not short of variety. Chemical weapons dumps, demolished municipal gas works, chemical landfills, a pesticide factory, a shuttered petrol station and an arsenic-contaminated golf course are all on the regulator’s list of ‘special sites’, ranging in size from 92 hectares to a single house.

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