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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Pristine Cumbria beaches earn clean sweep in report

BEACHES along Cumbria’s coastline have scored excellent water quality standards in the latest report.

In total, 60 Cumbrian beaches were given the top “recommended” rating in The Good Beach Guide, launched by the Marine Conservation Society, including 15 beaches, from Silecroft near Millom, to Grange.

One of Cumbria’s driest summers in a decade last year has resulted in more bathing beaches than ever being “recommended” for their excellent water quality.

MCS coastal pollution officer, Rachel Wyatt said she hoped the latest figures would be a boost to UK tourism after several previously wet summers led to a drop in bathing water quality caused by pollution running into the sea and overloaded sewers.

Ms Wyatt said: “The main challenge now is maintaining these standards, whatever the weather.”

Barrow Borough Council says it has demonstrated its commitment to keeping its beaches clean by achieving Love My Beach status.

The council has adopted simple measures in its workplaces as part of the scheme, such as fat traps for catering, and toilet stickers asking people to think before they flush.

Town centre and festivals manager, Ann Taylforth said: “The council has achieved Love My Beach status for all its main buildings, from the Town Hall to the Dock Museum to the Park Leisure Centre because we’re very keen to improve the quality of our beaches.

“Barrow has some excellent beaches, and particularly those on Walney are ideal for bathing. We look forward to a glorious summer for bathers, windsurfers and kitesurfers.”

All businesses and local residents are encouraged to get involved in Love My Beach.

Scheme co-ordinator Emma McColm said: “There’s a checklist of things we can do to help keep beaches looking beautiful and it’s open to everybody from the littlest cafes to big industries in the area.”

Beach users can also do their bit to help maintain beaches to be proud of.

Miss McColm said: “At this time of year people will be taking picnics down to the beach, so take your rubbish home, including bits of food because that attracts the seagulls, and it’s not acceptable to leave dog poo anywhere.”

By the end of the 2015 bathing season, all designated bathing waters must meet the new minimum “sufficient” standard under the revised EU bathing water directive.

This will be twice as stringent as the “minimum” standard and means that some beaches will need to do more to make the grade, such as including reducing pollution from sewage discharges, agricultural run-off and urban diffuse pollution; fixing mis-connected sewers and putting in place more steps to help dog owners clean up after their pets.

Beaches which do not meet the “sufficient” standard at the end of 2015 will have to display signs warning against bathing in the sea from the start of the bathing season in 2016.

Have your say

BBC News website says Cumbria has two of the dirtiest in the country :(

Posted by Snowy on 16 April 2014 at 18:33

have our council checked the walney beaches of late, the plastic litter is disgusting along both sides of the island.

Posted by neil cameron on 16 April 2014 at 17:41

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