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A Great Year!

Emma Whitlock, LOVEmyBEACH officer for the Fylde coast has had another fantastic year working with volunteer groups, school children and local businesses on the coast; empowering communities to improve their bathing waters and beaches.

Here’s a snapshot of what Emma has been involved with:

  • 11 beach clean groups, up from 9 last year
  • 327 beach clean events compared to 279 last year
  • 602 new volunteers attending beach clean events compared to 592 last year
  • 8 beach cleans with 234 United Utilities staff and
  • 3 beach cleans with 48 Environment Agency staff
  • 10,220 volunteer hours given to cleaning beaches compared to 8,890 last year
  • 7,670 bags of litter removed from beaches and estuaries, compared to 6,500 last year

We’d like to thank Emma for all of her hard work this year as well as all of the thousands of people who make LOVEmyBEACH what it is.

Please take 5 minutes to read through some of the achievements from 2017/18 in the report below:

Fylde BeachCare End of Year Report 2018

Emma Whitlock

Best Beaches 2018

The North-West is celebrating today with an array of beach awards presented by Keep Britain Tidy and water quality maintaining high standards across the region for the second year running.

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 announced 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. These are:

Morecambe North
Morecambe South
St Annes Pier
Ferry Beach
Marine Beach
Jubilee Beach, Cleveleys
Rossall Beach
Bispham
Blackpool North
Blackpool Central

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.

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Bottle Deposit Scheme

Today, we welcome the announcement from the Environment Secretary Michael Gove of plans to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in England.

This means that a deposit will be paid by the consumer when they purchase any single-use glass or plastic bottle, and steel or aluminium can. This deposit will increase the initial price paid but consumers will get the money back if they return the container.

The Environment Secretary said there was no doubt that plastic was “wreaking havoc” on the marine environment and discarded plastic bottles and cans “end up dumped on pavements and lobbed into rivers, lakes and the sea“.

“We have already banned harmful microbeads and cut plastic bag use, and now we want to take action on plastic bottles to help clean up our oceans,” he said.

“We need to see a change in attitudes and behaviour. And the evidence shows that reward and return schemes are a powerful agent of change.”

The announcement follows campaigning from a range of organisations including Surfers Against Sewage, The Marine Conservation Society and Keep Britain Tidy.

Keep Britain Tidy completed research last year detailing that councils would benefit financially from the introduction of the scheme. The research, published in October, was one of several pieces of evidence used by Government to form the decision made today.

The LOVEmyBEACH campaign tentatively awaits the introduction of the scheme, ready to track the changes in recorded beach and marine litter.

bottle deposit