Walking on the beaches – get your feet wet on the Fylde this summer

Barry Parkinson posted on Jun 7 2018

Build a sandcastle this summer

Build a sandcastle this summer

In 2018, there should be nothing holding visitors and residents back from ‘getting their feet wet’ on our beaches. Beach and water quality in the region has improved tremendously over the last thirty years resulting in all thirty bathing water locations in the North-West passing the EU water quality standards for the past two years.

There are four classifications of bathing water quality; Excellent, Good, Sufficient or Poor. This year in the North West there are 11 ‘excellent’ rated beaches and bathing waters including Blackpool South. This summer eleven beaches across the North West of England will be flying flags that tell the public they are among the best beaches in the country. Ten beaches were awarded the Seaside Award – Keep Britain Tidy’s own award for beaches that meet the very highest standards for cleanliness and facilities.

The UK’s bathing water season which runs from May until the 30th September every year; is the period when the Environment Agency monitors the water quality every week. Signs are displayed at each designated bathing water area highlighting the current classification as well as other useful information. The current classifications and results of the samples taken throughout the bathing season are also available on the LOVEmyBEACH website alongside a list of beach facilities and tide times.

Throughout summer the ‘LOVEmyBEACH’ campaign is calling for residents to try something new and visit one of the beautiful beaches along the North-West coast. A trip to the seaside is a value for money day out that can span the generations, here are some suggestions on how to get your feet wet:

• FLY A KITE at St Anne’s

• BUILD A SANCASTLE at Blackpool

• TAKE PHOTOS on the dunes between St Annes and Blackpool

• WALK THE DOG at one of twenty five beaches in the region with minimal dog restrictions

As a way to inspire others to make use of the coast, LOVEmyBEACH is encouraging everyone to share photos of them at the beach using the hashtag #getyourfeetwet.

Improvements in water quality across the region are a result of the Turning Tides partnership; a selection of organisations including local authorities, the Environment Agency, United Utilities and Natural England, who came together in 2012 with an ambition to reduce pollution in the regions rivers, lakes and seas. Through effective co-ordination of improvement works including £1 billion of investment by United Utilities, £7 million investment through Catchment Sensitive Farming to reduce dirty water running off farmland and the development of the LOVEmyBEACH campaign, the partnership has been cited by Defra as a model of good practice.

Neil Jack, Chair of the Turning Tides partnership and Chief Executive at Blackpool Council said: ‘Our bathing waters are so much cleaner today than they were twenty, ten or even only five years ago. That improvement is down to significant investment and partnership work from the Turning Tides partners and having a clear vision that clean bathing waters contribute to creating family friendly seaside resorts and boosting the North West economy as a whole. Our beaches are being cleaned regularly by hundreds of staff and volunteers throughout the summer and are being sampled regularly by the Environment Agency to check they are safe to swim in. We have some of the best, award-winning, coastlines in Europe but if we are to continue to keep them that way then we need the public’s help. Simple actions like putting your litter in the bin, picking up after your dog and not feeding the birds can help make sure that our beaches continue to stay fantastic.’

When you visit the beach please make sure you follow these simple steps to help the LOVEmyBEACH campaign and improve our beaches for generations to come:

• Always put rubbish in a bin – if you can’t find one or it’s full, simply take it home.

• Understand dog restrictions on beaches – dog restrictions are in place in seven beaches across the North West however there are miles of coast where dogs can be walked. Whichever beach you’re on though, always, pick up your dog poo; the tide doesn’t wash away the problem.

• Think about how you can help from home – flushing wet wipes down the toilet or pouring used kitchen fat down the sink increases the risk of sewage leaking into rivers and the sea.

For further information visit www.lovemybeach.org