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Get active on the beach this summer!

This summer, people across the North West are being invited to get down to the coast as an exciting programme of events is launched to get people active on the beach to improve their health and well-being.

The Active Coast programme will launch in the week commencing 22nd July, when local authorities across the North West coast will be showcasing a diverse range of activities that cater for everyone, no matter your age, ability or interests.

Research shows that getting out, connecting with your natural environment and being active regularly can have multiple health benefits, from losing weight to improving heart function and relieving anxiety and depression.

Our beaches are a fantastic, but underused resource that can help us keep healthy in body and mind. They are free and easy to access and can be used for almost everything, from a high intensity run, team sports or even a stroll or meditation. Everyone can use our beautiful beaches which are now the cleanest and safest they have been in decades.

This year, the Active Coast programme seeks to appeal to more people and includes a broader range of activities that fall into five categories: sports; environment; community action; walk and relaxation and arts and culture. There is something for everyone on our coast and we hope that people will be inspired to use our beaches more.

Some of the activities residents can expect this year include brand new Cycle Rides in Wyre; a series of beach activities in Fylde featuring volleyball, rounders and football; the Flowers and Butterflies of Walney walk; a taster Fun Sail in Morecambe and much more!

More information on planned activities will be available on lovemybeach.org where we will be launching a new section of our website!

Happy World Oceans Day!

World Oceans Day reminds us all of the actions we can take to help protect and conserve our oceans. It’s a chance for us to change behaviour, challenge others and celebrate one of our greatest natural assets.

We work with our partners including Marine Conservation Society, Keep Britain Tidy, Surfers Against Sewage, water companies, local authorities and others to raise awareness through #BinIt4Beaches campaigns. BinIt4Beaches focuses on the positive steps we can all take to protect beaches, bathing waters and wildlife. One of those steps is what we flush down the loo.

Plastic pollution comes in all shapes and sizes and from multiple sources, including our toilets. Sewage related debris – the term used for items such as wet wipes, plastic cotton bud sticks, tampon applicators, sanitary towels and nappies, is regularly found littering our beaches and waters because it’s been incorrectly flushed down the loo.

Last year, Marine Conservation Society reported that over 18,000 items of sewage related debris were collected from beaches during the Great British Beach Clean 2018. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The majority of items incorrectly flushed down the toilet are caught by filters at the waste water treatment plants; the recorded items found on the beach survey are those which are either too small for the filters, or are the result of a sewage overflow after heavy rain.

While the figures recorded by Marine Conservation Society during last year’s beach clean are slightly down on 2017 they are still shockingly high. The number of wet wipes alone littering beaches represents a 300% increase over the last decade.

Toilets are not bins, they are meant only for the 3Ps; pee, poo and paper. Flushing items such as wet wipes, sanitary products and cotton bud sticks isn’t disposing of them, it’s environmental littering.

Help us and together we can protect and restore our ocean. #BinIt4Beaches.

Happy World Oceans Day!

 

 

Bathing Water Season Begins!

Wednesday 15 May marks the start of the bathing water season and more than 400 bathing waters in England will undergo regular testing between now and the end of September. Last year 97.9% of bathing waters met the minimum standard and of those, 388 achieved the highest standards of Excellent and Good.

There are four classifications of bathing waters; Excellent, Good, Sufficient or Poor.

We want to encourage everyone to check the water quality before swimming. At designated bathing waters, signs are put up by the local authority displaying current classifications as well as other useful information. Information is also available online on the Environment Agency’s Bathing Water Data Explorer website.

Surfers Against Sewage has relaunched their Safer Seas Service app for the start of the bathing season. The app provides subscribers with water quality information on the go. It uses open data from across the UK and water company updates to provide real-time water quality alerts for over 350 locations around the UK.

Thanks to continued investment and action from Defra, Environment Agency, water companies, local councils, communities and environmental organisations, the standards at our bathing waters remain high, however there’s always more we can do and everyone can play a part.

We support #BinIt4Beaches campaigns in raising awareness and encouraging positive actions that everyone can take to help maintain and improve the quality of our beaches and bathing waters.

So whether it’s taking steps to ensure leftover cooking fats and oils are scraped into the food waste recycling or bin, only flushing the 3Ps – pee, poo and paper, bagging and binning dog mess or ensuring you put all your litter in the bin, it’s a step in the right direction to protecting our beautiful English coastline and inland lakes.

Join in the conversation and find out how you can help by following #BinIt4Beaches on Twitter.