Visiting a Beach Near You
This year 461 beaches have made the grade, 42 more than last year. The south west of England dominates the list having 63 beaches in Cornwall, 41 in Devon and 36 in Dorset. In Wales, Pembrokeshire has 32 of the 91 beaches that have entered the guide followed by Anglesey with 21. In Scotland it is more evenly spread as it is in Northern Ireland. Jersey has 14 beaches in the guide and Guernsey 7.
The main problem with the guide is that it is out-of-date already. There may be little alternative to the Guide in judging beaches but as the Marine Conservation Society points out the samples to win the status were taken between mid-May and September last year in England and Wales and from June to September in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
So it comes as no surprise that one of the areas that hasn’t received as many top grades as you might think has pointed out problems. The Isle of Man hasn’t come out of the survey too well but nor has Blackpool. Two of its beaches, Blackpool Central and South beaches failed as have St Anne’s just up the road. In the Daily Mail, Blackpool Council is quoted as saying the water is safe and that the tests were “affected by last year’s ‘promenade regeneration’ programme.” On that basis the beach should be better this year. You wouldn’t think so from reading the comments at the end of the Mail’s story online. But then, to be fair, how many Daily Mail readers would be Blackpool visitors?
That Par in Cornwall, for example, can switch in one year from being a failed beach to passing the very next shows how quickly events can change. Any of the failures from last year could be successful this. And the reverse. The best advice is still to use your eyes and local knowledge to judge.
And then enjoy the bank holiday weekend and half term.