Over the last 20 years we’ve made huge progress in making our beaches and bathing waters cleaner.
In 1988 only 18% of our bathing waters met minimum standards, in 2016 this was 100%.
Below is information on how we got there and how we’ll keep it that way…

Keep Britain Tidy CEO joins beach clean

Allison Ogden-Newton, Keep Britain Tidy CEO, visited the Fylde coast this week to join a group of more than twenty volunteers who this week pledged their time to Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean.

The volunteer group have however been established for four years and meet each week to clean the beach surrounding St Anne’s Pier. As local residents who want to enjoy the beach where they live they take a ‘hands-on’ approach to addressing the litter issue in order to keep the area beautiful.

With Allison’s help, on the 7th March the group collected approx. twenty six bags of litter in less than two hours from St Annes beach around the pier and sand dunes with the volunteers stating this volume was not unusual.

Ian Roberts, a regular volunteer and St Anne’s resident stated, “The litter issue is ongoing in the area. A lot of it gets washed in from the sea, things that shouldn’t have been flushed down the toilet or waste from ships but we regularly see people drop litter on the beach. Our biggest gripe is people not clearing up after their dogs! People don’t consider the effect this has; not cleaning your dog poo makes the sea unsafe too. We’ve got good bathing water quality at the moment, second to excellent, and we don’t want this to drop, we all need to do our bit to protect the beaches.”

Allison Ogden-Newton, Keep Britain Tidy CEO adds, “The group at St Anne’s are a true inspiration, real Litter Heroes and examples of the thousands of others that came together last weekend for the Great British Spring Clean. In the North West alone there were over 600 events organised which highlights the real passion for cleaning up our beaches and beyond.”

“I was also impressed with the work many of the volunteers had done as part of the Sand Dunes project, collecting people’s old Christmas trees and building natural sea defences into the dunes. It’s a really innovative way of protecting the coastline and re-cycling what would be initially be waste, as we say at Keep Britain Tidy; waste-less, live more!”

Allison St Annes

#GetYourFeetWet

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, and for some residents, this would be the best suited phrase for beach and sea usage; as more than half of adults have not had a single day at the seaside in the last year.

However, in 2017, there should be nothing holding visitors and residents back. Beach and water quality in the region has improved tremendously over the last thirty years and in 2016 all thirty-one bathing water locations in the North-West were compliant with EU regulations.
In addition, the region has ten beaches that will be flying flags that tell the public they are among the best beaches in the country with Blackpool South beach flying the prestigious Blue Flag Award – the international standard for the best beaches in the world.

That’s why, this May Bank Holiday weekend, 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.
There are a selection of ‘excellent’ rated beaches and bathing waters including Blackpool South, Formby & St Bees. The LOVEmyBEACH website includes the classifications of all the bathing water beaches in the North-west plus a comprehensive listing detailing information such as facilities and time tides.

The UK beach season is now officially open running from the 15th May until the 30th September every year; the period when the Environment Agency monitors the safety of the water every week.
A trip to the seaside is a thrifty, low cost day out that can span the generations. Here are our top five beach ideas if you need inspiration getting 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

Whatever the activity, we encourage everyone to share their photos and ‘foosies’ (the selfie for your feet!) using the hashtag #getyourfeetwet.

Stephanie Wyatt, Manager of the LOVEmyBEACH campaign adds, “The 2016 water quality results are fantastic news and something for the region to be really proud of. It’s time to start making the most of our safe and clean beaches and the list of possible activities is endless. All we ask is that people continue to look after them when they visit by respecting wildlife and always taking home their litter.”

LOVEmyBEACH

Rossall Beach

This months litter heroes are The Rossall Beach Group who look after the shingle beach at Cleveleys between the new sea defences and Rossall School.

Their beach clean takes place every four weeks on a Monday morning from 9.30am and is followed by a coffee and a chat at The Venue on North Promenade.

On alternate fortnights, at Cleveleys Community Centre, you can join them to hear from a range of different speakers on all kinds of subjects related to the local area.

Additionally the group assist in education and campaigning within the local area.

Thank you for helping #lovemybeach

Rossall Beach residents clean up