Guide recognition for top quality beaches

Beach Eastbourne Easter. April 23rd 2011 E17040M
Beach Eastbourne Easter. April 23rd 2011 E17040M

SEA WATER off Eastbourne is among the cleanest in the county, according to a respected national guide.

The town’s beaches have achieved the best possible grade for water quality.

The Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide 2011 published on Thursday (May 26) gave Eastbourne’s beaches the “top standard for excellent water quality”.

However, Eastbourne does not have the prestigious Blue Flag awarded to the cleanest beaches across the world.

For the second year running the town’s beaches rated among the best in East Sussex and achieved better results than neighbouring Brighton, Hove, Hastings and Bexhill. They were also assessed superior to the popular beaches in Camber.

Eastbourne retained the highest possible ‘Recommended’ status in the Good Beach Guide as one of 12 beaches in East Sussex to gain the top score.

This means Eastbourne beaches achieved the European Guideline standard and every sample taken, by the Environment Agency, passed the European Mandatory standard.

The samples are tested for pollution from human sewage and/or livestock waste which would lead to an increase in bacteria.

Beaches in Newhaven West Quay, Seaford Bay, Birling Gap, Pevensey Bay, Norman’s Bay and Cooden Beach were also given recommended status.

But beaches in Brighton, Hove, Hastings, Bexhill and Camber all achieved only a “Basic pass”, which means only the European Mandatory standard was met.

Cllr Neil Stanley, Eastbourne Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Tourism, said, “We are extremely pleased to maintain an excellent grading for Eastbourne in the Good Beach Guide and this news comes in the same week that the town was highlighted as a staycation hotspot.

“With millions of visitors set to come to Eastbourne during 2011, we take pride in offering a first class bathing experience and hope that this year’s rating will encourage visitors to choose Eastbourne for a day out at the seaside.”