DORSET beach-goers can enjoy a dip in the sea with confidence this summer, after more of the area’s beach waters earned a recommendation in the annual Good Beach Guide.
All of Bournemouth’s beaches, except Boscombe Pier, received the top “recommended” rating from the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).
Boscombe Pier was recommended last year but this year received a second-tier “guideline” ranking. This means it achieved “higher” water quality standards, rather than the “excellent” standards needed to be recommended.
There was a clean sweep in Poole, with beaches from Rockley Sands to Branksome Chine all being recommended.
And there were recommendations all round in Christchurch too, including at Highcliffe and Avon Beach, where water quality had improved from last year.
In Purbeck, Kimmeridge Bay achieved a recommendation after failing tests last year. The only local beach not to receive the top accolade was Swanage Central, which achieved a third-tier “mandatory” rating. This means it met minimum water quality standards.
The MCS said that last year’s dry summer – the driest since 2003 – had led to a record number of UK bathing beaches achieving its top award.
MCS coastal pollution officer Rachel Wyatt said she hoped the latest figures would be a boost to UK tourism.
“It’s great news that we are able to recommend more beaches than ever for excellent water quality and it shows just how good British beaches can be,” she said.
“The main challenge now is maintaining these standards, whatever the weather. Most people don't realise what a big impact the weather can have on bathing water quality, but this has really been highlighted in the last few years.”