Bathing spots across England have been polluted hundreds of times over the last five years with hazardous waste from oil, fuel and sewage contaminating shorelines.
Designated bathing sites are monitored by the Environment Agency to inform swimmers and other beach goers about how clean and safe the water is. Pollution incidents are recorded when there is a risk to bathers’ health.
There have been 23 bathing spot pollution incidents this year (up to 14 April), including five oil or fuel spills. Last year 126 incidents were recorded. The figures do not include pollution incidents at non-bathing sites, including all rivers.
The findings come after it was revealed by the Government (31 March) that water companies had pumped sewage into England’s waterways 372,000 times last year.
The most recent bathing spot incident came on 14 April when Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire recorded a sewage pollution problem, which includes waste water from toilets, sinks and showers from homes and businesses. The incident lasted three days.
While in Dovercourt in Essex, oil or fuel was identified on 15 March and made the area unsafe for swimming for two days.
Previous incidents have also included agriculture and animal waste, chemicals and harmful algae.
Whatever the cause, any sort of pollution could be extremely harmful to people and devastating to the environment.
Here we reveal the 13 beaches in England which have had the greatest number of pollution incidents recorded since 2017.
Images are for illustrative purposes only.