Get Your Feet Wet In The Cleanest Seas In 30 Years!
The phrase, To Get Your Feet Wet, means ‘to experience something for the first time’ or ‘begin to participate in an activity.’ For many visitors to the North-West coast, and for some residents too, this would be the best suited phrase for water usage at the coast; as more than half of adults have not had a single day at the seaside in the last year.
However, in 2018, there should be nothing holding visitors and residents back. Beach and water quality in the region has improved tremendously over the last thirty years resulting in all thirty bathing water locations in the North-West passing the EU water quality standards for the past two years.
There are four classifications of bathing water quality; Excellent, Good, Sufficient or Poor. This year in the North West there are 11 ‘excellent’ rated beaches and bathing waters including Blackpool South, Formby & St Bees. Today, Keep Britain Tidy announces the winners of 2018’s Blue Flag and Seaside Awards; two awards which consider bathing water quality standards within their criteria. This summer eleven beaches across the North West of England will be flying flags that tell the public they are among the best beaches in the country.
Ten beaches are awarded the Seaside Award - Keep Britain Tidy’s own award for beaches that meet the very highest standards for cleanliness and facilities. Putting the North West on the map, Blackpool South beach is awarded the region’s only Blue Flag award for the third year in a row; the international standard for the best beaches in the world. The 15th May marks the start of the UK’s bathing water season which runs until the 30th September every year; the period when the Environment Agency monitors the water quality every week.
Signs are displayed at each designated bathing water highlighting the current classification as well as other useful information. The current classifications and results of the samples taken throughout the bathing season are also available on the LOVEmyBEACH website alongside a list of beach facilities,and time tides. Throughout the summer, the LOVEmyBEACH campaign is calling for residents and visitors to try something new and visit one of the beautiful beaches along the North-West coast. A trip to the seaside is a value for money day out that can span the generations, here are some suggestions on how to get your feet wet: 1. FLY A KITE at St Anne’s 2. BUILD SANCASTLES at Blackpool 3. TAKE PHOTOS on the dunes at Ainsdale 4. WALK THE DOG at one of twenty five beaches in the region with minimal dog restrictions 5. WINDSURF at West Kirby As a way to inspire others to make use of the coast, the LOVEmyBEACH is encouraging everyone to share photos of them at the beach using the hashtag #getyourfeetwet.
The improvements in water quality across the region are a result of the Turning Tides partnership; a selection of organisations including local authorities, the Environment Agency, United Utilities and Natural England, who came together in 2012 with an ambition to reduce pollution in the regions rivers, lakes and seas. Through effective co-ordination of improvement works including £1 billion of investment by United Utilities, £7 million investment through Catchment Sensitive Farming to reduce dirty water running off farmland and the development of the LOVEmyBEACH campaign, the partnership has been cited by Defra as a model of good practice. Neil Jack, Chair of the Turning Tides partnership and Chief Executive at Blackpool Council, added: “Our bathing waters are so much cleaner today than they were twenty, ten or even only five years ago .“That improvement is down to significant investment and partnership work from the Turning Tides partners such as United Utilities, and having a clear vision that clean bathing waters contribute to creating family friendly seaside resorts and boosting the North West economy as a whole.
“Our beaches are being cleaned regularly by hundreds of staff and volunteers throughout the summer and are being sampled regularly by the Environment Agency to check they are safe to swim in. “We have some of the best, award-winning, coastlines in Europe but if we are to continue to keep them that way then we need the public’s help. Simple actions like putting your litter in the bin, picking up after your dog and not feeding the birds can help make sure that our beaches continue to stay fantastic.”
Stephanie Wyatt, LOVEmyBEACH Manager adds, “When you visit the beach please make sure you follow these simple steps to help the LOVEmyBEACH campaign and improve our beaches for generations to come:
1. Always put rubbish in a bin - if you can’t find one or it’s full, simply take it home. 2. Understand dog restrictions on beaches – dog restrictions are in place in seven beaches across the North West however there are miles of coast where dogs can be walked. Whichever beach you’re on though, always, pick up your dog poo; the tide doesn’t wash away the problem”. 3. Think about how you can help from home - flushing wet wipes down the toilet or pouring used kitchen fat down the sink increases the risk of sewage leaking into rivers and the sea.
For more information visit lovemybeach.org
2017 Bathing Water Results (classifications for 2018):
Blackpool South Excellent
Blackpool Central Good
Blackpool North Good
St Bees Excellent
Allonby South Sufficient
St Annes North Good
St Annes Good
Morecambe South Good
Morecambe North Good
Biggar Bank Sufficient
Sandy Gap Sufficient
West Shore Sufficient
Lakeside YMCA Excellent
Millerground Landing Excellent