Whitby water quality is excellent for fourth year in a row

The summer sun brought tourists flocking to Whitby in 2018.
The summer sun brought tourists flocking to Whitby in 2018.

Whitby's beach is one of the best in the country when it comes to water quality, new tests show.


The Government's latest statistics show that it had the top score for the fourth successive year - but Scarborough South Bay was classed as 'poor' for the third year in a row.

Walkers on the beach at Whitby.

Walkers on the beach at Whitby.

There was better news for the other beaches in the area, which were all given a clean bill of health

Like Whitby, Cayton Bay and Runswick Bay were classed as 'excellent', the highest standard score available in the tests.

Filey, Reighton, Robin Hood's Bay, Sandsend and Scarborough North Bay all achieved 'good results'.

Around the country, 97.9% of bathing waters passed tough standards following a programme of water quality testing at 420 bathing spots carried out by the Environment Agency (EA) from May to September.

The results also show that 92.4% of the beaches and inland lakes tested were give the top rating of ‘excellent’ or ‘good.’

Environment minister Thérèse Coffey said: "This is great news for anyone who enjoys a trip to the seaside. We want everyone to be confident in the quality of our bathing waters and that’s why the Environment Agency carry out regular tests to protect the health of visitors.

"Britain’s beaches are visited around 130 million times each year, generating over £7 billion for the economy. Working together we can all keep driving up standards to reduce pollution, ensuring everyone can continue to enjoy our iconic coastline.

Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency said: "Seaside tourism is worth over £7 billion to the economy and good water quality is essential for people to visit and enjoy our beautiful beaches.

"The Environment Agency’s hard work has helped 388 beaches achieve the top 'excellent' or 'good' ratings this year and at beach cleans throughout the summer I’ve seen the commitment of local communities and campaigners to reduce pollution and protect our environment."

Throughout the bathing water season from May to September, staff from the Environment Agency take up to 20 samples at each designated bathing spot. These are tested in Environment Agency laboratories and the results are published online.