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…

Please support #binit4beaches

Hundreds of bags of dog poo have been found on the UK’s beaches according to the Marine Conservations Society’s 2016 research; with 792 bags recorded at 364 beaches by volunteers over the Great British Beach Clean weekend in September last year. However these numbers don’t show the full scale of the problem; beach clean volunteers do not record unbagged waste therefore the total amount of dog poo left by some owners on our beautiful beaches remains unknown.

Many people believe that leaving dog poo on the beach is OK because the tide washes it away, however this natural disposal technique isn’t the best thing for our beautiful beaches and seas. Bacteria present in dog poo is potentially harmful to beach users and can affect water quality in a negative way.

LOVEmyBEACH are just one of many organisations and campaigns from across the UK uniting this week for #binit4beaches; a campaign focused on reducing pollution and litter at the beach.

Millions of people head to the UK’s beaches to relax, paddle and swim every year and we want water quality to be the best it can be. Last year 98.5% of the UK’s bathing waters met the tough minimum standards. By working together, we can continue to help protect and improve water quality.

For those of you who already bag it and bin it please help raise awareness of this topic during our awareness week between the 30th October and the 5th November. Simply share this picture on social media and include the hashtag #binit4beaches or why not take a photo of your and your dog doing the right thing to help encourage others to do the same?

For those who used to leave dog poo on the beach, thank you for reading this and considering a new approach.

Together we can help make our beaches safe for everyone to enjoy.

Barney and binit4beaches

Fylde Volunteer Celebration Event

Over 60 beach clean volunteers from across the Fylde coast came together at Fleetwood’s Marine Hall on Friday 13th October for the third annual Volunteer Celebration event organised by Fylde LOVEmyBEACH officer Emma Whitlock.

The event celebrated the fantastic achievements of the volunteers, with Emma updating the packed hall of litter heroes that between them they have volunteered over 8000 hours and removed 1000’s of bags of litter from the coastal environment in the past year alone.

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton attended the event to personally thank the dedicated volunteers and update them on how Keep Britain Tidy was campaigning to reduce litter across the country, as well as providing important updates on the Bottle Deposit Return Scheme hoping to be introduced in the UK in the near future.

Representatives from all 9 beach clean groups across the coast were present, including long established groups such as Friends of the Estuary in Lytham and Rossall Beach Residents who have been running for almost 10 years now, alongside newer groups such as Cleveleys Beach Care and Harbour Village Estuary Care who are in their second years as established groups. Each group had a chance to share with others what they had achieved over the last year, from number of bags of litter collected to a growing numbers of volunteers.

Thanks and updates were also given from local authority teams from Wyre and Fylde Councils as well as LOVEmyBEACH partners United Utilities and the Environment Agency, who provided insightful information on how volunteers could report pollution incidents effectively.

The event concluded after a complimentary lunch with a field trip to Rossall Point Tower where views across Morecambe Bay to the Lakeland fells could be enjoyed.

Knott End volunteer Madeleine Doherty said “We found the whole day really interesting – the talks were informative and so relevant and we enjoyed seeing so many like-minded-people.”

Les Warren, Volunteer Manager at Keep Britain Tidy added, “It was a great day! The volunteers were really upbeat and the event showed how important it is to support the volunteers who are keen on cleaning up their local beaches.”

Allison St Annes

Take a dip!

Sea Swimming by Chris Shaw

I am Chris Shaw, a 53 year old ultra marathon runner and sea swimmer, living in Wallasey, who helps facilitate a group of friends to swim in the sea, all year round. I have worked in Mental Health and Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) for over 20 years and know the huge benefits of sociable, outdoor exercise – where you choose to take responsibility for yourself and your your choices!

Our group of sea swimmers now has well over 20 regular attendees, with 5-17 of them turning up to each swim. We swim all along the north Wirral Coast but our most frequent swims are along the New Brighton Coastline and Mother Redcaps Beach in Egremont.

Over the last 12 months we have done approximately 300 sea swims; in all seasons and all weathers!

Open sea swimming can be very dangerous and the Mersey coast can be extremely dangerous; documented as having the 4th biggest tides on the whole planet my 40 years of experience of the currents, channels, tides and sandbanks helps with swim safety. With our combined growing knowledge base we have been able to craft several routes which are swimmable at most states of the tide.

One of my favourite swims is at day break; the beauty is startling – dawn appearing over Liverpool, but, my very favourite is Sunset, the western dipping-sun horizon framed by the Welsh mountains and Mersey Bay windmills –  then looking East, the  Lancashire Pennines and Liverpool city including Anfield and Goodison Stadia.

We have even had the opportunity to swim with wildlife; quite often with Atlantic Grey Seals and once, right in the Mersey, we were passed by a couple of Porpoises!

I moved to New Brighton in 1970 when the beaches and the Mersey were filthy, with horrendous effluent and industrial waste smeared and littered on the beach and in the water. I’m glad I wasn’t a sea swimmer back then as I don’t think it would have been safe to be in the water for very long. Over the last decade I have built up to doing 10 mile sea swims and then a 12 miler from New Brighton to Hilbre Island, finishing at West Kirby. On my 50th birthday I swam 22.7 miles from New Brighton to Wales and then back, my biggest swim so far!

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Our local beaches are really clean now, this is down to the work of regional agencies plus local groups like the New Brighteners who constantly clean the coast and also lobby locally to stop the unnecessary use of single use plastics by businesses and the local population. One beach at Wallasey has just been awarded the internationally coveted Blue Flag status- an unthinkable transformation based on how it was a just a decade or two ago!

Several of our swimmers take part in the New Brighteners beach clean events; whenever we are out swimming and running on beaches and sandbanks, we do our best to collect plastic bottles and bin them. Our pet dog Seth is an expert plastic bottle collector now too!

New Brighton has a thriving Coastal Community that the sea swimmers are a part of; we all see the beauty of the North Wirral Coast and feel proud of our local area. We support other community events and they support us.

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One of our swimmers, Sam Rowen from Community Soul set up 2 colossal sunset swim events this year encouraging lots of local residents to swim in the sea with other people in their community. Over 150 swimmers joined us in July and almost 300 swimmers came in September! Check out the video from the event here: https://youtu.be/LKjzy00vPIo

If you are interested in trying out sea swimming you can join us at our Saturday morning training get together at New Brighton Lake. New swimmers will have to sign a Council disclaimer to swim in the lake but this is a great session where you can meet a wide spread of swimmers, from people who swim long distances in the winter, and are friendly and knowledgeable experts, right through to those who just want a quick sea swim and enjoy the efficacious health benefits of winter dips in very cold water!

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