Environment Agency   In 2014 , the English coast was the cleanest since records began, with 99.5% of swimming spots passing water quality tests compared to just 65% in 1988. However, England’s beaches will be under the microscope this summer as much tougher new EU standards come into force. The new European standards will be twice as tough to pass in a bid by the EU to drive up standards across Europe. In response the Environment Agency is urging water companies, businesses, farmers, local authorities and householders to continue to take action, reduce pollution and improve bathing water quality further. From now until September, the Environment Agency will carry out its annual water quality test programme at more than 400 beaches and lakes. The results will then be made available to beach-goers in close to real-time on the Environment Agency’s new Bathing Water Explorer website.

Until 2014 the current Bathing Water Directive was in place, from 2015 it is replaced by the EU’s revised Bathing Water Directive. The annual results for 2015 will use the revised Bathing Water Directive for the first time. They will be announced at the end of the year by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs. Annual results under the new directive will use a combined average of four years worth of tests. Samples have been tested using both sets of standards since 2012.


MCS A new era in beach information – as beaches get set to meet a stricter bathing guidelines the MCS popular website goes beyond the beach. We’ve published our Good Beach Guide to campaign for better water quality since 1988. We can now reveal that it has achieved many of its goals, a year ahead of the implementation of the new coastal water cleanliness standards!

Good Beach Guide plus:   This summer’s Good Beach Guide will include projected water quality ratings alongside wider beach information like weather, tide times, frequently spotted wildlife, links to other wildlife sightings and RNLI life guarding details making this a one- stop- beach- information- shop for anyone who wants to go to the beach.


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