UK’s most polluted beaches named with public advised not to swim - full list of popular spots to avoid

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Beaches in England such as Blackpool North and Weston-super-Mare have been contaminated and are among the list to steer clear of

The most polluted beaches in England have been revealed, highlighting which spots people should look to avoid as the water quality is so poor and contaminated.

The Mirror’s new interactive map allows people to type in their postcode to find what pollution levels are like at local beaches.

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Many beaches have become so contaminated that swimming could become dangerous.

St Mary’s Bay in Kent is at the top of the list for being the beach to avoid.

In February the beach was hit with a year-long “do not swim” warning due to a huge spike in faecal matter discovered in the water.

Popular spots such as Blackpool North and Weston-super-Mare have been contaminated and are among the list of beaches to steer clear of.

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Councillor Jane Hugo, Blackpool’s cabinet member for climate change and the environment, said the problem in Blackpool is partly caused by gulls congregating beneath the North Pier to eat the fish and chip scraps left there. The birds defecate in the sea which leads to contamination of the water.

The government said Weston-super-Mare’s beach has been polluted due to dogs, seabirds and nearby sewage treatment works.

The most polluted beaches in England have been revealed, highlighting which spots people should look to avoid. (Photo: NationalWorld/Kim Mogg/Adobe Stock) The most polluted beaches in England have been revealed, highlighting which spots people should look to avoid. (Photo: NationalWorld/Kim Mogg/Adobe Stock)
The most polluted beaches in England have been revealed, highlighting which spots people should look to avoid. (Photo: NationalWorld/Kim Mogg/Adobe Stock) | NationalWorld/Kim Mogg/Adobe Stock

Which beaches in England are the most polluted?

Sewage discharges occur in the seas around Britain’s coast regularly and are allowed to happen when there is particularly heavy rainfall.

Water companies say this release of sewage is to stop the sewage system from becoming overwhelmed.

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However, it has been heavily criticised after a report released by Surfers Against Sewage last year unveiled that water companies are releasing sewage even during dry weather.

Analysing meteorological data from the Met Office as well as spillage data, SAS found that 146 dry spills were detected over a 12-month period.

Ministers argued they are working to tackle discharges and cut them by a quarter by 2025.

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Last year Labour revealed that water companies in England and Wales are pumping raw into the environment every two-and-a-half minutes.

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A new interactive map made by The Mirror has revealed the spots you should avoid taking a dip due to high levels of pollution.

Listed are the UK’s most polluted beaches where swimming is not advised:

  1. St Mary’s Bay, Kent
  2. Bognor Regis, West Sussex
  3. Lyme Regis Church Cliff Beach, Dorset
  4. Watcombe, Devon
  5. Dunster Beach, Devon
  6. Instow, Cornwall
  7. Rock beach, Cornwall
  8. Ilfracombe, Devon
  9. Burnham Jetty North, Somerset
  10. Weston-super-Mare Sand Bay, Somerset
  11. Weston Main, Somerset
  12. Wolvercote Mill Stream, Oxfordshire
  13. Blackpool North, Lancashire
  14. Wharfe at Cromwheel, Yorkshire
  15. Tunstall, Yorkshire
  16. Scarborough South Bay, Yorkshire
  17. Bridlington South Beach, Yorkshire
  18. Tynemouth Cullercoats, Tyneside
  19. Heacham, Norfolk
  20. Allonby South, Cumbria
  21. Silloth, Cumbria
  22. Clacton, Essex
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