Copeland coast boasts safe, clean waters

Winter sun over St Bees beach

St Bees beach is one of four managed beaches in Copeland which have once again been recognised for their clean, safe swimming water.

In DEFRA’s annual figures, Silecroft and St Bees were found to have ‘excellent’ water quality, Seascale has ‘good’ and Haverigg’s is ‘sufficient.’

The results mean locals and visitors to these picturesque areas can enjoy swimming and other activities in confidence.

The Environment Agency tests water at specific sites every week from May to September, to ensure the water is safe and clean for swimming and other activities.

These results lead to a rating of excellent, good, sufficient or poor from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The annual rating is based on an average over four years.

Copeland’s Chief Executive, Pat Graham, said: “It is great news that we have maintained these levels of cleanliness at our managed beaches.  I hope it will encourage people to come and enjoy our beaches – even in winter, they provide fresh air, open space and spectacular views.  Maintaining the highest-possible level of water cleanliness for St Bees and Silecroft is fantastic, and is part of our growing attractiveness to tourists. This stunning coastline is one of Cumbria’s hidden gems and we are proud to celebrate it.”

More information about designated bathing waters and how they are tested can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/bathing-waters.

The grand opening of a bin…..

Seabin in Whitehaven marina

Earlier this week we had the pleasure of going to the grand opening a bin!  But it’s not just any old bin.  It’s a very special Seabin, keep reading to find out more…

A few years ago we were involved in some of the initial conversations with the Whitehaven Harbour Youth Project about getting a Seabin in Whitehaven marina.  Since then the WHYP have been working tirelessly to monitor the water quality of the marina and work out where the Seabin should be placed.  They also had to raise enough funds not only for buying the Seabin, but also installation and running costs.

The Whitehaven Seabin in situ in Whitehaven marina

The Whitehaven Seabin in situ in Whitehaven marina

So, why are Seabins so special and why is a Seabin perfect for Whitehaven marina?  With no huge open ocean swells or storms inside the marina, the relatively controlled environment and water level provides the perfect location.  There’s also already a regular programme of maintenance throughout the marina which includes removing litter.  Plus, there are power sources and people on site.  The Seabin acts as a floating rubbish bin skimming the surface of the water by pumping water into the device. It can collect floating debris, macro and micro plastics, organic material (leaves, seaweed, etc…).

This is the first Seabin in Cumbria and one of only 20 in the UK.  It’s great to see it already working and skimming the water of the marina.  At their presentation in the WHYP offices before we went on site to have a look at the new bin the WHYP team told us that the Seabin team visited the marina and have recommended that the marina needs about 6 Seabins in order to tackle the pollution that comes into it from drains, dropped litter, through the sea lock, through accidental spills and many other sources.  The WHYP are continuing to raise fund to try and achieve this.

Presentation about Whitehaven Seabin from the Whitehaven Harbour Youth Project

Presentation about Whitehaven Seabin from the Whitehaven Harbour Youth Project

So, while going to the grand opening of a bin might sound a little boring it’s actually a ground breaking, exciting, world leading, ocean friendly bin funded by the local community (through the Cleator Moor Coop) which is taking positive action against marine pollution.  Phew!  Take a look when you’re next in Whitehaven.