Millions of visitors to England’s stunning seaside and bathing spots will be able to enjoy swimming in cleaner water than ever before, thanks to massive improvements made over the past two decades.
Bathing water quality, tested at 413 beaches and lakes up and down the country, is the best on record and 98.5% passed tough standards this year.
In Bude, Summerleaze has gone from good to excellent, and Crooklets remains good. Sandymouth and Widemuth remain excellent, and Crackington has also gone from good to excellent. Across into Devon Hartland quay and westward Ho! remain excellent but Instow is poor.
MP for North Cornwall, Scott Mann, has welcomed the bathing water results. In Cornwall, 81 sites were tested of which 65 have been rated Excellent and 11 as Good. All 15 sites in North Cornwall have been classed as either Good or Excellent.
Responding to the news, Scott Mann said:
“I hugely welcome today’s bathing water results in North Cornwall and across the county.
“Just 28% of bathing waters nationwide met the top water quality standards in the early 1990s; now 93.2% are rated excellent and good.
“Fifteen sites in North Cornwall have been tested, including in Bude, Widemouth, Crackington Haven, Daymer Bay, Polzeath, Constantine, Trevone, Treyarnon, Harlyn, Porthcothan and Mother Ivey’s Bay. All have been rated either Good or Excellent.
“The quality of Cornwall’s bathing water is very important for local residents, tourists and the marine environment, and I know many people will welcome this news across the county and in North Cornwall.”
Huge strides have been made to improve water quality, helping to make our beaches even more attractive for the increasing numbers of tourists who visit from around the world.
The number of bathing waters rated ‘excellent’ has increased by 5.9 percentage points since 2015, and five bathing waters have met at least the minimum standards for the first time.
Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said:
England’s bathing waters are enjoyed by millions of people every year, which is why I am delighted the water quality at our beaches and lakes is better than at any time since before the Industrial Revolution.
This year more than 93 per cent of bathing waters were rated excellent and good, but we’re not complacent – we’ll keep working to improve our environment and make sure it’s protected for future generations.
Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, said:
Water quality at beaches has improved again this year, 98.5% passed the standards and 69.5% met the highest rating of Excellent.
The Environment Agency has led successful work to protect people, tourism and the environment. We will continue to ensure bathing waters are maintained and improved further, so we need partners and the public to work with us to reduce pollution.
We encourage all beach-goers to check water quality advice; this is available at every bathing beach and on our Bathing Water Data Explorer website.
The seaside economy is worth more than £3.6 billion annually and 146 million people flock to Britain’s beaches every year to appreciate the stunning natural landscape and world class facilities.
And staycations are growing in appeal, with almost 14 million people in England choosing to holiday at a beach here in 2015 – up 7% on the previous year.
These visitors expect our bathing waters to meet strict standards and thanks to the work by the Government, water companies, and local authorities, the overwhelming majority now do.