What we do
Good Beach Guide
Marine Protected Areas
The Good Beach Guide is compiled by the Marine Conservation Society, the UK charity that cares for our seas, shores and wildlife.
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Photograph: Simon Carey
© Copyright Simon Carey and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
The Good Beach Guide uses water sampling data collected by the UK environment agencies and local authorities
during the previous summer (i.e. Good Beach Guide classifications for 2014 are based on results of samples taken
during summer 2013) to assess water quality at beaches against the following standards, from best to worst water quality:
MCS Recommended – excellent water quality
Guideline – higher water quality
Mandatory – minimum water quality
Fail – did not meet the minimum water quality standard
Our standards are based on the European Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC), but our results are not the same as those
published by the UK Government and devolved administrations. We award some beaches our MCS Recommended
standard for excellent water quality and we include any UK beach sampled for water quality, even those not legally
required to comply with the Directive’s standards.
Please note: Storms, floods and heavy rain can lead to short term water pollution.
See our ‘How we recommend beaches’ page to find out more about our water quality standards.
Information provided by the Environment Agency. We use this data to produce our water quality information, but our results use information from the previous year, so our results for 2014 are the same as the Environment Agency’s results for 2013. For more info see how we recommend beaches.
Marine Conservation Society | Company Limited by Guarantee No. 2550966
Registered Charity No. England and Wales No. 1004005 | Scotland No. SC037480
Registered Office: Over Ross House, Ross Park, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, HR9 7QQ. Scottish office: 11A Chester Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7RF.
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