Bathing water results for England announced
Almost two-thirds of England’s bathing beaches have achieved “excellent” standards for their water quality this year, Defra announced today. 270 beaches (65.4% of England’s total) reached the highest level of bathing water cleanliness this year, compared with 287 (69.5%) in 2016. 110 beaches attained “Good” status, leaving 26 as “sufficient”, and seven as “poor”.
This is really great news, and is definitely a good outcome from our long-running campaign to highlight sewage problems and ensure that new EU standards have been achieved at our most visited beaches.Rachel Wyatt,
MCS Water Quality Programme Manager
The slight decrease in beaches reaching Excellent standards is attributed to a wetter summer experienced in some parts of England.
Rachel Wyatt, MCS Water Quality Programme Manager, says the results are very similar to last year, and show that our most popular beaches are generally maintaining a good level of water quality despite some wet weather days this summer. “This is really great news, and is definitely a good outcome from our long-running campaign to highlight sewage problems and ensure that new EU standards have been achieved at our most visited beaches,” she says.
“Working in partnership has been key to the success”, Rachel continues. “We’ll still be working hard to ensure that beaches struggling to make the grade are invested in, and to ensure that next year even more beaches are receiving top marks. We must have resilient sewage systems, and reduced pollution from farm land when it rains, so that our bathing waters can remain excellent even with our changeable weather.”
MCS will keep bathing water quality at the top of the public and political agenda. Equivalent legislation must remain in force when we leave the EU, with the best new science and evidence continuing to guide the way that we manage the quality of our bathing waters, so that we can all enjoy a day at the beach and a dip in the sea.
Check our Good Beach Guide now with the results all up to date for beaches in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We will update the results for the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, plus a few extra voluntarily sampled UK beaches early next year.
Actions you can take
- Join a beach clean
- Join the fight against the 'unflushables'
- Only flush the 3Ps - meet the unflushables
- Visit the beachwatch website
- Make sure popular swimming beaches are protected
- Explore 'Near You' incorporating the 'Good Beach Guide'
- Check out water quality before you head to the beach
- Organise a beach clean
- Find out about Blueprint for Water
- Download the Great British Beach Clean Report 2019
Did you know?…
MCS first launched the Good Beach Guide in 1987 as a book to highlight the woeful state of the UK’s bathing waters
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is thought to be 6 times the size of the UK
Globally, plastic litter has reached every part of the world’s oceans
Why not join a beach clean ... or organise one?
To date, our beach clean volunteers have removed 6 million pieces of litter from our beaches and collected marine litter data to support our campaigns for cleaner seas and beaches.Learn more and join a beach clean