14 Feb 2023

ContamiNATION: Warrington takes the top spot with the UK’s most contaminated land

UK’s Most Contaminated Areas

  • Warrington is the town with the most contaminated land in the UK, with a staggering 1759 sites across 41,603,277 square meters. 
  • The Liverpool borough of Sefton secured a second spot with a combined 975,050m2 of contaminated land sites. 
  • Scotland only had one site in the top 10, with the rest of the top spots being taken by English boroughs. 

With the ever growing consciousness of the preservation of the earth, we’ve become a lot more aware of our impact on the environment around us in recent years. Are we becoming more mindful of not just what we put into the air around us, but equally importantly, what we’re putting into the ground? 

We endeavored to find out which town holds the most contaminated land in the UK. By culminating in a list of the top towns with a series of freedom of information requests to uncover just where in the country contaminated land was at its highest based on the square meterage and amount of sites.

With a total of 41,603,277 square metres across 1759 sites in the UK, the top spot on the list goes to Warrington, with 23% of the borough being consumed by contaminated land. This dwarfs every other position on the list, including second place borough of Sefton from their neighbor, Liverpool, with their 975,050 square metres of contaminated land. 

All sites on the top 10 list are from England, aside from one feature from the Scottish borough of West Dunbartonshire who placed third overall with 700,000 square metres of contamination. Just making it onto the top 10 list, in tenth place was Hull. In a report in 2020, it was found that the borough had built the 6th least amount of houses in the UK, which may be affected by the 163,578 metres of contaminated land which can’t be built on, across two large sites. 

The study was undertaken as businesses continue to consider the impact they’re having on the environment, with stricter measures continually being introduced.

The full top 10:

  1. Warrington – 41,603,277m2
  2. Sefton – 975,050m2
  3. Hillingdon – 700,000m2
  4. Waverley – 382,000m2
  5. Mendip – 280,000m2
  6. Gateshead – 243,000m2
  7. West Dunbartonshire – 180,000m2
  8. Hull – 163,578m2
  9. Herefordshire – 156,000m2
  10. Calderdale – 137,000m2

Below is a graphic of the top 10 sites and their location on a map of the UK. 

Related Articles