Half of Britain's beaches condemned

The number of UK beaches recommended for bathing in the new Good Beach Guide has fallen by almost a sixth owing to last year’s heavy rain and floods.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is recommending only 370 UK beaches out of 777 tested – a drop of 74 since 2008. This is the biggest annual fall in the guide’s 22-year history, and the first time since 2002 that under half of UK bathing beaches are recommended.

The MCS said rain had swept pollutants like raw sewage into rivers and sea.
“Today’s results reflect last summer’s heavy rain which swept waterborne pollutants like raw sewage, petro-chemicals and farm waste into rivers and the sea, ” said Thomas Bell, MCS coastal pollution officer. People are advised to stay out of the water for at least 24 hours after heavy storms and report pollution problems to the MCS.

See Dick Durham’s blog