Local beaches are among the best in Britain
As Northumberland gears up for the start of the tourist season, visitors are being reminded that its beaches are some of the best in Britain.
An impressive 12 bathing waters along Northumberland’s heritage coastline were recently awarded the ‘excellent’ standard - the highest possible rating in European bathing water quality.
Beaches that were recognised as ‘excellent’ were Bamburgh Castle, Seahouses North, Beadnell, Low Newton, Warkworth, Amble Links, Druridge Bay North and South, Newbiggin North and South, Blyth South, and Seaton Sluice.
Spittal beach was the only beach not rated ‘excellent’ but its sufficient rating was an improvement on its previous grading and reflects the work being done to improve water quality in the River Tweed estuary area.
The beaches were evaluated based on data collected by the Environment Agency over the last three years and the sea quality results were announced by DEFRA.
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Paul Jones, director of local services and housing delivery at Northumberland County Council said: “The Northumberland coast has a well deserved reputation as an area of outstanding natural beauty and we work very hard to ensure our beaches are kept clean and tidy for the benefit of local people, as well as visitors to our region.
“We are exceptionally proud of our Northumberland coastline and we can confidently say we have some of the finest beaches and cleanest bathing waters of anywhere in the UK. Tourists want clean seas and nice beaches, we have them both in abundance, so this will help further boost our growing tourism economy.”
The recent results were particularly pleasing as the method of assessing bathing water quality became more stringent last year. Compliance is now based on the current and previous three years of sample data (80 samples) and is assessed against four new and stricter classifications of poor (failure to meet minimum requirement), sufficient, good and excellent.