Excellent bathing water at vast majority of Northumberland’s beaches

Spittal beach and prom
Spittal beach and prom

Eleven of the 13 bathing waters in Northumberland are either excellent or good, with every one of the county’s coastal sites passing the water quality standards, Defra announced today.

Bathing waters in the county which have achieved the excellent standard are Bamburgh Castle, Seahouses North, Beadnell, Low Newton, Warkworth, Amble Links, Druridge Bay North, Druridge Bay South, Newbiggin South, Blyth South and Seaton Sluice.

Newbiggin North was rated good, while Spittal was sufficient, meaning all 13 pass the European standards.

In the wider region, 25 of the North East’s bathing waters have met the excellent standard, seven are classified as good, two as sufficient and none as poor.

Northumbrian Water’s wastewater director, Richard Warneford, said: “Our two decades of investment have yielded significant benefits and we are confident that by maintaining focus upon the North-East coastline, we can continue to drive improvements and make the region’s coast a beacon for excellent bathing water.

“Investment in improved storm water storage facilities throughout our network over the years and through our Rainwise initiative, where we remove surface water from our sewer network and divert it into the natural environment, will have contributed to these results.

“Back in 2000, only four North-East bathing waters achieved the standards that were in place at the time, so today shows a massive improvement that we and all of our partners can be proud of. We place the environment at the heart of what we do and are extremely proud of the investment and partnership working that we carry out to make our beaches a great place to visit.

“There is always work to be done to improve things further and we will not be complacent.”

Compliance is based on the current and previous four years of sample data (a maximum of 80 samples per beach, from 2014 to 2017). The samples are taken by the Environment Agency between May and September each year to assess the bathing waters against the strict regulations.