Majority of British Beaches Are Clean, Says Study

British beaches generally offer safe bathing, says a research study done by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), a UK-based non-profit society for the protection of the seaside environment.

In its newest Good Beach Guide, the organisation has rated the water at most beaches in the UK as ‘excellent’, although a number of other beaches have specifically failed to attain the mandatory levels of cleanliness for their waters.

Around 516 out of 754 UK beaches were rated ‘excellent’ for water quality, based on tests done last summer, representing more than half of the popular bathing places for British vacationers.

The current results represent an 8 percent rise in beaches with clean water, and further represent one of best results in the last 25 years. The results, based on tests carried out in the summer of 2011, show that around two-thirds of the total number of beaches in the UK are safe for swimmers.

The Good Beach Guide has highlighted four beaches in the Blackpool and St Anne’s area among those that have failed the water quality tests.

While around 41 percent of Scotland’s beaches make the grade, this represents a decrease of around 5 percent from last years’ figures, following heavy summer rains and rainfall that was generally above average in 2011.

However, the MCS has warned that recent heavy rainfall is washing sewage and pollution from overflowing pipes in areas close to UK beaches, so holidaymakers taking a seaside vacation must still exercise caution.

Coastal pollution officer, Rachel Wyatt, said in an interview, ‘It’s really important that local authorities, water companies and environmental regulators don’t become complacent and take their collective feet off the pedal of continued environmental improvements. If that happens we could see a drop in the number of beaches recommended by us in the future, which could pose a risk to the great reputation British beaches have.’