England Sees Record Designation of New Bathing Sites for 2024

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 15, 2024 03:30 AMNews
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Two women running into the ocean waves at a beach, seen from behind, during a sunny day
Two women running into the ocean waves at a beach, seen from behind, during a sunny day. Source: pixabay

In a landmark move by the UK government, dozens of new wild swimming locations across England have been designated as official bathing water sites, set to enhance the 2024 summer season. This initiative, announced by Water Minister Robbie Moore on May 13, 2024, marks the largest expansion in the program's history.

The recent public consultation led to the designation of 27 new sites, just in time for the bathing season running from May 15 to September 30. This brings the total to an impressive 451 bathing waters nationwide, a record number aimed at promoting safer and cleaner waterways for public enjoyment.

Spanning from Church Cliff Beach in Dorset to Derwent Water in Cumbria, and extending to the River Dart in Devon and the River Nidd in North Yorkshire, these new sites cover a diverse range of locales. Each site will now benefit from regular water quality assessments by the Environment Agency, ensuring safer swimming conditions and proactive pollution management.

In addition to ongoing efforts to enhance water quality, the government has announced a consultation scheduled later this year to review and possibly reform the Bathing Water Regulations for England. Proposed changes include extended monitoring periods beyond the current bathing season and modifications to the criteria for site designation, reflecting a more inclusive approach to the definition of bathers to cover activities like kayaking and paddle boarding.

These developments underscore a significant commitment by the government to improve the aquatic environment, bolster recreational water use, and ensure the health and safety of all water users across the country. This initiative not only caters to swimmers but also to the wider community including rowers and other water sports enthusiasts, highlighting an inclusive future for England's beloved waterways.

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