Printer-friendly view |

The coasts are clear

This article is taken from the Summer 2014 edition of the geog.newsletter, for schools using the KS3 geography course.

Thanks to dry weather during the summer of 2013, in 2014 a record-breaking number of beaches were "recommended" by The Good Beach Guide for their water quality.

The coasts are clear

This article is taken from the Summer 2014 edition of the geog.newsletter, for schools using the KS3 geography course.

Thanks to dry weather during the summer of 2013, in 2014 a record-breaking number of beaches were "recommended" by The Good Beach Guide for their water quality.



What does that mean?

The charity Marine Conservation Society has been creating The Good Beach Guide for the last 27 years. 2014's guide is based on data collected from May-September 2013, when 538 out of the UK's 734 beaches (73%) were deemed to have excellent water quality, an increase of 135 on the previous year.

How does the weather affect beach quality?

Wet summers lead to a drop in bathing water quality because the rain washes more pollution into the sea from both urban and rural areas, and from overloaded sewers.

But what about all the rain during the winter?

Nothing to worry about - bacteria break down within 24 to 48 hours, so it's only rain in the summer that you need to watch out for.

What does the future hold?

British beaches can't rest on their laurels. By the end of the 2015 bathing season, all British beaches will have to meet the EU standard of "sufficient" water quality, which is about twice as stringent as the current minimum standard. Beaches that don't measure up will have to display signs warning prospective swimmers of the water's lack of cleanliness from 2016.

Did you know?

  • South-West England has the highest level of recommended beaches, with 88% reaching the top standard
  • Just 14 UK beaches (2%) failed to reach minimum water quality standards last summer
  • Scotland has the lowest percentage of beaches reaching the highest standard (56.8%)
  • ... But there wasn't a single beach in either Scotland or Northern Ireland which failed to meet the minimum water quality standards.
  • More about geog.2

    Teach about this

    geog.2 4th edition Student Book

    More in geog.2

    Coasts and Weather are both covered in geog.2.