Recently increasing numbers of people are taking pebbles from our beaches, to decorate and be used as messages of hope and positivity in these difficult times. Although a seemingly thoughtful idea, did you know every small pebble and rock plays a very important role on the beach and altering this environment can lead to serious consequences? Each p..
There are many of us out there who care a great deal about the environment and want to do everything we can to protect it. It's why we have so many amazing and dedicated volunteers who go out come rain or shine to keep our beaches clean and safe. We can't get down to the beach at the moment to do litter picks, but the good news is there are lots of things we can do whil..
Ready for some positive news? Take a look at what LOVEmyBEACH has achieved on the Fylde Coast in the last 12 months... All in the name of cleaner and safer beaches and seas! It's been another great year involving more interest in beach cleans than ever before, award winning volunteers, plastic reduction campaigns and strong relationships with commu..
We can all do our bit for the environment, even if we are on lock down and that is why LOVEmyBEACH is launching a new campaign to Wipe Out Ocean Plastic - or WOOP! Aimed at young people, and young women in particular, the campaign seeks to raise awareness of the fact that many of the products they most co..
In light of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and after much consideration and consultation we have taken the decision that all volunteer clean up events (this includes litter picks and any other events involving social contact) should be cancelled until further notice. It was not an easy decision but our primary concern is to ensure that people stay..
The Environment Agency monitors bathing waters – stretches of sea or lake where many people swim and paddle – to assess whether they meet the strict standards of the European Bathing Water Directive. The standards are set to protect public health and the environment from pollution.
The Environment Agency takes 20 water samples at each bathing water between May and September each year and post the information online: http://environment.data.gov.uk/bwq/profiles/
The samples are tested for certain types of bacteria: escherichia coli (E.coli) and intestinal enterococci, which are not directly harmful but indicate the presence of pollution. The bacteria are found in the intestines of animals and humans and pass through the body in poo. High levels of bacteria = poor water quality.
However, the water may be cleaner on the actual day you visit the beach, as the quality can change, particularly after heavy rain washes pollution into rivers and the sea. Look out for daily forecasts at some beaches.
Each beach is also given an annual classification. From 2015 this is based on sample results over the previous four years, e.g. 2015 results use data from 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. 2016 results use data from 2013 to 2016 and so on. The classifications are:
The standard is the highest, cleanest class
Generally good water quality
The water meets the minimum standards
Bathing is not advised at this beach as water quality has not met sufficient standards
If a bathing water is classed as Poor, you are advised not to bathe because samples taken over the previous four years have been affected by pollution. This does not mean the beach is closed – you can still enjoy everything the beach has to offer.
If a water sample has high levels of bacteria, analysis is done to estimate* the sources of pollution and work is planned in the area to improve water quality. When this work is significant and is expected to help improve bathing water quality, the four years of data for the annual classification starts from the time the work is completed and sample data from before the work are not included. This is called step change.
*Estimates are based on computer modelling, DNA analysis, and knowledge of the local area. The estimates can never be perfect because pollution to bathing waters changes from day to day depending on the season, the tides and the weather.