Bathing Water Season is here! Time to get your feet wet!

Bathing water season is here again, starting this weekend on Saturday 15th May. This is the time to get down to the beach and make the most of the beautiful coastline we have on our doorstep.

After a tough year of lock downs and restrictions, the coast will be more important than ever to people’s health and wellbeing and getting out with their families, who will benefit from the hard work of LOVEmyBEACH and the Turning Tides Partnership.

The partnership strives to keep bathing waters and beaches clean, meaning that in 2019, all 29 designated Bathing Waters in the North West met tough bathing water standards, showing how far the region has come.

Keith Ashcroft, Environment Agency Area Director said:

“In 1988 only 18% of North West Bathing Waters met the minimum standards which demonstrates the huge amount of work and investment which has gone into cleaning up our coast.  Working alongside the Turning Tides partnership and LOVEmyBEACH supporters, our ambition is for North West bathing waters to be even cleaner and for our beaches to always meet and even go beyond, the standards.”

Before heading down to the beach, the public is advised to check the Environment Agency’s Swimfo website to check for any pollution risks as a result of rainfall, wind and high tides.

Last year, the North West coast was inundated with visitors who were unable to travel abroad because of the pandemic. While this is great news for local business and for people’s connection to nature, it also meant that the beaches suffered from people failing to take their litter home and there were also some safety concerns for people who were unfamiliar with tide times.

Richard McIlwain, Deputy CEO of Keep Britain Tidy and representative of the Turning Tides Partnership said:

“While we encourage people to come to the beaches in the North West, we ask that they consider their safety at all times and adhere to government guidance. We would also advise that they check local tide times on the council websites and look on the RNLI website for safety information.

“It is also crucial that when visiting the beach, people take a bag with them so that they can take their litter home or ensure that they leave it in one of the nearby bins. We would also ask that people don’t leave litter by a full bin and refrain from having BBQs on the beach as they can cause fires, which harms the delicate ecosystems on the coast and the wildlife that inhabit it.”