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: Dave Butlin
© Copyright Dave Butlin 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 2013 are based on results of samples taken
during summer 2012) 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 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.
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This information is provided by the Environment Agency. We use this data to produce our water quality information on the Good Beach Guide, but our results use information from the previous year, so our results for 2013 are the same as the Environment Agency’s results for 2012. Please see how we recommend beaches for more information.
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