For the second year running, the 148 monitored bathing beaches in Devon and Cornwall have broken records for water quality standards.

Most beaches met the highest international standards for water quality and cleanliness where people bathe.

Bruce Newport, Devon and Cornwall Area Environment Manager said:

Our beaches are 100% compliant, so now the challenge is to work collaboratively with everyone to keep our healthy waters in an excellent state for people to enjoy. Our coastline is an incredible natural feature.

We have had relatively few reports of pollution on our beaches this summer which is a credit to everyone maintaining and improving our bathing waters. We would like to say thank you to those groups, communities and businesses which have gone above and beyond to keep pollution out of our water ways.

Bathers and surfers are using our online Swimfo app to make decisions on where to go for the best places to bathe in the summer. Just by looking at Swimfo on your mobile you can get up to date information on the water quality of many of our bathing beaches.

This year nine beaches in Devon and Cornwall have improved their bathing water classification, while four beaches have deteriorated – Teignmouth Town in Devon,  and Cornwall’s  Readymoney Cove, Porthminster and Swanpool.

Those improving from Good to Excellent are Ladram Bay, Croyde and Plymouth Hoe East in Devon, and Gorran Haven, Pendower, Porthwrinkle and Porthcurnick in Cornwall. Improving from Sufficient to Good are Par Sands in Cornwall and Combe Martin in North Devon.

The improvement this year from Sufficient to Good at Combe Martin is the result of a strong collaborative effort by the Environment Agency, local groups and businesses.

Where foul water is wrongly connected to drains leading to beaches, poor quality normally follows – this year wrong connections have been identified, fixed and the Environment Agency continue to work with South West Water with this important work.

In North Devon, Croyde has improved from Good to Excellent. Scientists used analytical tests to home in on pollution sources resulting in the Environment Agency working with farmers in the catchment to resolve potential pollution issues. The Environment Agency say they are committed to doing more in 2023.

In Cornwall, Par Sands has improved from Sufficient to Good, the result again of a collaborative effect by the Environment Agency with local people. They have carried out extensive monitoring in the catchment, investigated potential sources of pollution and ensured problems causing pollution have stopped.

At Teignmouth the Environment Agency say they continue to work with Teignbridge Council to improve water quality at Teignmouth Town and are carrying out investigations into the cause of elevated bacteria numbers in samples taken at Teignmouth in August.

The nine beaches in Devon and Cornwall which have improved their bathing water classification are:

Devon: Ladram Bay, Croyde, Combe Martin, Plymouth Hoe East

Cornwall: Porthcurnick, Pendower, Gorran Haven Little Perhaver, Portwrinkle, Par Sands

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