Best and worst of Isle of Wight beaches

By Martin Neville

Saturday, March 22, 2014

 

Best and worst of Isle of Wight beaches

Colwell Bay has been labelled one of the cleanest in the country by a national newspaper.

ISLE of Wight beaches have been named among the best and worst in the country. Bembridge was on a blacklist of UK beaches while Colwell Bay was named as one of the cleanest.

Bembridge parish councillors reacted angrily this week after Forelands beach featured in a 'blacklist’ of UK beaches, where signs marking the beach as unfit for bathing could be introduced next year due to tough new EU regulations.

A report in The Sunday Times named the resort as one of 45 where the current sea water quality would not meet the stringent EU rules that come into effect in 2015.

The Environment Agency (EA) drew up the list, which also includes popular coastal towns such as Blackpool and Scarborough.

The report provoked an angry response from the parish council on Tuesday, when members agreed to write to the newspaper and BBC South Today about their 'negative’ coverage.

They spoke of their upset at the beach already being labelled 'poor’ ahead of the EU changes and complained the EA had so far been unable to tell them what was polluting the water or why nearby beaches at St Helens and Sandown scored highly.

The new rules will see the introduction of higher standards that are around twice as stringent as those currently in force.

A working party set up last year between the parish council and other organisations, including the EA and Southern Water, is trying to improve the rating to adequate.

There was praise, however, for another Island beach this week when the 'i’ newspaper named Colwell Bay among the cleanest in the country.

Cllr John Howe, whose ward covers part of the bay, said: "It has always been a very popular beach for local families and holidaymakers.

"It’s always been a fun and very safe beach with spectacular views across The Solent to Hurst Castle."

The Sunday Times article.

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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