Daily Archives: June 12, 2009

Fingal’s beach litter shame


By Ciaran MCKEON

Wednesday June 10 2009

SKERRIES Tidy Towns Committee was forced to take the initiative and clean up their beach themselves because the council could not afford to hire a beach clean up crew. The beautiful sunshine over the bank holiday weekend saw locals and tourists flocking to the seaside to bask in the heat. With so many people using the beach there was bound to be rubbish but with no litter cleanup crews recruited this year much of it was left to be swept out to sea and strewn along the shore. Meave McGann of Skerries Tidy Towns said that bins on the beach were overflowing and that locals decided to pick up the rubbish themselves. Ms McGann said that the Government’s underfunding of local councils was to blame.

Skerries Beach left with rubbish strewn all over
it following the busy bank holiday weekend.

‘ The council should be able to employ people to do this job. They can’t run their services unless the Government give them the money they need to do so.

‘In this climate we’ll be looking towards tourism to help us out. The Government should realise that all coastal towns, not just Skerries, could be an asset.’

In Portmarnock there was not a single bin on the beach and the two at the main entrance were soon overflowing.

County councillor and long-time beach advocate, Peter Coyle, said that the council could not ignore the beaches.

‘All beach maintenance cannot be dropped instantaneously. Fingal County Council is losing a lot of credibility at the moment. Portmarnock Beach is the only beach in Fingal that can get a Blue Flag in 2010. It looks like that it will fail because of the lack of litter control.’

Beach sweeping machinery did return to Portmarnock on Tuesday and a crew was working on the grass but unlike last year this will not be a regular service. Ms McGann also urged beach-goers to take everything they can back home with them.

She said that the Tidy Towns committee was also launching a campaign to encourage walkers to pick up litter as they enter and leave the beach.

Fingal’s beaches were already dealt a heavy blow earlier this month when the Environmental Protection Agency reported that four beaches failed the minimum standards for water quality.

– Ciaran MCKEON

Read the original article from the Fingal Independant


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Britain’s beaches fail European hygiene standards

Britain’s beaches fail European hygiene standards
An increasing number of popular swimming spots in the UK have failed to meet European hygiene standards including parts of Lake Windemere, the chic Cornish resort of Rock in Cornwall and Sandgate in Kent.

By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
Published: 6:03PM BST 12 Jun 2009
Britain’s beaches fail European hygiene standards
Rock beach in Cornwall which has failed European hygiene standards Photo: MARTIN POPE

The vast majority of the nation’s favourite coastal areas and inland lakes or rivers meet strict EU bathing water cleanliness standards.

However the heavy rains last summer means that more sewage, litter and chemical run-off from farms was found in the 608 swimming spots assessed last year. Some 24 coastal areas and Millerground Landings in Lake Windermere failed to meet the minimum standard, which means they may not be safe to swim in at certain times of year or in particular areas. This is a rise from the 20 beaches that failed the test in 2007.

The EU does not consider the bathing areas dirty enough to close them down but leaves it up to the local authority or Environment Agency to test the water and advise the public if it is safe to swim.

Most of the UK bathing areas needing improvement were in the South West – Devon and Cornwall – and in Scotland including Portobello in Edinburgh and beaches around Plymouth.

Earlier in the year the Marine Conservation Society recommended just 370 out of 775 of the UK’s most popular bathing beaches in its annual Good Beach Guide, a fall of 17 per cent on last year and the lowest number since 2002.

Keep Britain Tidy have also reported the number of beaches awarded a Blue Flag for overall cleanliness this year fell by 11 to 71 – although that is still an improvement from 2002 when just 45 made the grade.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it is tackling the problem of pollution from sewers by tightening standards to stop leaks. The problem of run off from farms is being dealt with by awarding grants to build fences between livestock and watercourses and controlling use of chemicals.

“We’re working to improve sewerage systems and are aware of the effect heavy rain and flooding can have on our coastal bathing waters” said a spokesman.

The EU carried out tests at more than 21,000 bathing spots around 27 countries last year. The vast majority in favourite holiday spots like Cyprus, France and Spain met EU hygiene requirements with 96 per cent of the total coastal bathing areas and 92 per cent of bathing sites in rivers and lakes up to standard.

UK beaches and inland swimming spots failing to meet minimum EU clean water standards in 2008 were:

Northern Ireland:



Machrihanish (Argyll and Bute),

Saltcoats/Ardrossan (North Ayrshire)

Sandyhills (Dumfries and Galloway)

Portobello Central (Edinburgh)

Rosehearty (Aberdeenshire),

Cruden Bay (Aberdeenshire)




South West:

Seaton (Cornwall)

East Looe (Cornwall)

Rock (Cornwall)

Readymoney (Cornwall)

Porthluney (Cornwall)

Plymouth Hoe East (Devon)

Plymouth Hoe West (Devon)

Exmouth (Devon)

Instow (Devon)

Coombe Martin (Devon)


Allonby (Cumbria)

St Bees (Cumbria)

Aldingham (Cumbria)

Windermere, Millerground landings (Cumbria)

Yorkshire and Humberside:

Staithes (North Yorkshire)

South East:

Sandgate (Kent).

Read the original article from the Telegraph.co.uk here


Filed under litter, Sea Pollution, Water Quality