All three of Sefton’s bathing beaches have passed tough new water quality standards introduced this year. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published the 2015 classifications for England’s 418 outdoor swimming spots today.

Formby Beach, Lifeboat Road, was awarded Excellent, the highest and cleanest class. Both Ainsdale and Southport were awarded a classification of Good, with the latter having benefited from completed improvement works in the area.

Across the North West, 28 of the 31 bathing waters meet the new standards with 12 Excellent and 10 Good classifications.

Cllr John Fairclough, Cabinet Member Locality Services, said: “We are delighted that the water at our bathing beaches has passed the strict new standards.

“Since 2013, residents across Sefton have been encouraged to learn more about bathing waters and how to help improve the water quality as part of the LOVEmyBEACH campaignand we believe that this has helped the classifications awarded.

“We would also like to thank all of our partners and volunteers who have also worked hard to improve and protect water quality across the borough.

“I look forward to seeing both visitors and residents enjoying our beaches next summer.”

Dr Pete Fox, Director of Land & Water at the Environment Agency said: “Water quality at beaches is better than any time in living memory, with dramatic improvements having been made over the last few decades.

“The Environment Agency has led successful work to monitor, investigate and reduce pollution, which has benefited the environment and people with nearly all of England’s beaches 97 per cent meeting the new stringent water quality standards.

“The Environment Agency will continue to encourage water companies, local authorities, farmers, and businesses to work together to maintain and improve water quality.

“The results are based on samples taken by the Environment Agency over the last four years. Information about each beach is available on the Bathing Water Explorer website.”

The new classifications are based on the level of bacteria in the water, which is monitored by the Environment Agency between May and September. Up to four years of results are combined to let you know how clean the water typically is.”

For more information on the classifications visit:

If you would like to get involved with the LOVEmyBEACH campaign or find out more