Pollution on the Esks: a story over 200 years
Countless letters to newspapers, initiatives, court cases, commissions and proposals for sewers have been put forward in that time.
The history of Esk pollution goes back nearly 200 years. Countless letters to newspapers, initiatives, court cases, commissions and proposals for sewers have been put forward in that time, yet incidents like that recent report are their legacy.
The 1866 North Esk Pollution case – brought by the Duke of Buccleuch, Viscount Melville, and Drummond of Hawthornden against six paper mill owners – accused the mill owners of being the primary source of pollution. But the evidence led in the case made it clear that coal mining (largely owned and financed by the heritable landowners) and domestic sewage were at least equal as sources of nuisance.
It may seem incredible that pollution of the Esk received almost as much notice at the 1866 meeting of The British Association for the Advancement of Science as Darwin’s recently published Origin of Species.
In the below document are two articles from 1931, which resonate with these still unresolved issues.Back to Stories