THIRTY-FIVE Dorset beaches have been recommended for their excellent water quality in the latest edition of the Good Beach Guide.

Launched today by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the guide recommends a record number of UK beaches in its 25-year history; an eight per cent rise on last year.

MCS Coastal Pollution Officer Rachel Wyatt said the latest water quality figures would be a boost to UK tourism but warned against complacency.

She said: “This is a milestone for coastal resorts to be proud of and shows the impact of the guide over the last 25 years.

“However, this summer will see the first samples taken under the revised Bathing Water Directive which will replace the current standards with far more stringent ones from 2015.

“It’s really important that local authorities, water companies and environmental regulators don’t become complacent and take their collective feet off the pedal of these continued environmental improvements.

“If that happens we could see a drop in the number of beaches recommended by us in the future, which could pose a risk to the great reputation that British beaches have.”

The South West, which includes Dorset’s beaches, is once again one of the best performing regions in the Good Beach Guide with 154 out of 193 beaches (80 per cent) meeting the MCS criteria for excellent quality water.

Bournemouth’s beaches at Alum Chine, Durley Chine, Fisherman’s Walk, Southbourne, Hengistbury West and the two Piers all made the grade.

In Poole harbour Rockley Sand, Hamworthy Park and Harbour Lake came up trumps along with Sandbanks Peninsula, Shore Road, Canford Cliffs and Branksome Chine.

Christchurch’s Avon Beach, Friars Cliff, Highcliffe Castle and Highcliffe beaches also achieved the top accolade along with Swanage Central, Studland Knoll House and Shell Bay North.

Durdle Door West and East were also recommended for their water quality.