There is good news for locals and visitors planning on a trip to Berwickshire’s beaches – all three have achieved the required benchmark for bathing water set by the Marine Conservation Society.
Coldingham improved from its pass last year to be recommended in the annual Good Beach Guide ; Pease Bay continued its trend of being recommended and unlike in other years when it failed to make the grade, Eyemouth has also passed.
A record 538 out of 734 UK beaches tested last summer were recommended for their excellent water quality and there were fewer failures with just 14 not meeting the required standard.
The improved figures have been attributed to the fact that 2013 was the driest summer since 2003.
But Eyemouth’s result could also be attributed to the work of the Tweed Forum who made the Eye Water one of their priorities a few years ago after it persistently failed to meet bathing water requirements due to faecal pollution from livestock.
The Forum’s work with SEPA saw them engage with local farmers leading to 7,800 metres of streamside being protected and 11.68 hectares of land fenced off from livestock.
Collaborative Action Coordinator, Hugh Chalmers commented: “There are so many variables that can come into play but our work and further works by SEPA – who have made farmers who didn’t engages with us in the first instance pay for improvements themselves – seem to have remedied the situation.”
By the end of 2015, all bathing waters must meet the new minimum ‘Sufficient’ standard due to the revised EU Bathing Water Directive. This will be twice as stringent as the current minimum.