Galloway beaches given clean bill of health

All of Galloway’s beaches passed mandatory bathing water quality standards last year, despite one of the wettest summers on record.

The Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) annual Good Beach Guide found that 42 beaches across the UK failed to meet the minimum European standards for bathing water quality – 17 more than in last year’s guide.

It recommended only 403 of the 754 bathing beaches tested in 2012 as having excellent water quality – 113 fewer than last year.

The seven local beaches assessed were Southerness, Sandyhills, Rockcliffe, Doon Bay, Brighouse Bay, Carrick and Mossyhard Beach. These all passed mandatory tests but none was included on the recommended list.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown has welcomed the news that none of Galloway’s beaches failed water quality standards.

However, he expressed disappointment that once again none of the seven local beaches assessed made it onto the list of recommended beaches and warned that with tougher standards on the way through new regulations in 2015, there was no cause for complacency.

Mr Brown said: “We are fortunate to have in Galloway some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK and it is encouraging that the Marine Conservation Society gave them a clean bill of health, despite 2012 being the wettest summer on record.

“However, there is no room for complacency. None of the beaches made it onto the MCS recommended list and, in fact, they never have.

“A new bathing water directive will also come into effect in 2015 that will double the standard required, so a lot of work will be needed by the local communities, the water authorities and the council, to cut the pollution in and around our coast.

“In the meantime, I hope people will see this positive news and hopefully once we eventually get some good weather, they take the time to visit and enjoy our fantastic Galloway coast.”.