Bathing water is top quality at district's beaches

Come on in - the water's lovely! That's the message from Folkestone & Hythe District Council after all the district's bathing beaches were rated good or excellent for water quality.


The results were announced after testing by the Environment Agency, who took samples at six beaches: Sunny Sands in Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate, Dymchurch, St Mary's Bay and Littlestone.

They were examined for cleanliness and pollution levels, while details of any litter on the beaches were also recorded. Up to 20 further samples will be taken at each location between May and September to ensure the quality remains high.

Jenny Hollingsbee, Deputy Leader of Folkestone & Hythe District Council, said it was a positive start to the summer season.

We're delighted with the annual designation of good or excellent for our bathing water beaches. It means people can visit knowing the water is safe to swim in and the beaches are free from pollution. We are looking forward to an excellent season across the district and I hope residents and visitors alike will enjoy our coastline and our countryside too.Jenny Hollingsbee, Deputy Leader of Folkestone & Hythe District Council

Sunny Sands, Hythe and Sandgate were rated excellent, while Dymchurch, St Mary's Bay and Littlestone have been given a 'good' classification. This is the first time Littlestone has reached 'good' since new, tighter, standards were introduced in 2015. Drainage from the Marsh is thought to be the reason for 'excellent' ratings being missed at these locations.

Some litter was found on just eight per cent of visits to Sunny Sands beach, but was seen on two thirds of visits to Littlestone beach.

Clearly we still have some work to do to keep all our beaches looking their best, and we will continue our summer plans with more beach cleaners, additional large bins at popular locations and extra vehicles to empty bins. If bins are full, it's very likely we'll be along to empty them within the next hour or so but people can do their bit by taking litter home rather than leaving it on the beach or next to a bin. Full bins can also be reported via our website.Cllr  Jenny Hollingsbee

More details about the results for the district's beaches can be found on the Environment Agency website:

Published on 16 May 2018