The South West enjoys Clean Water Quality

Authored by tomdummer
Posted Wednesday, May 29, 2024 - 12:47pm

If you plan on visiting Devon or Cornwall for your summer holiday, rest assured that the water you are bathing in is likely good quality, thanks to positive results from the Environment Agency’s Water Bathing Report. Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks delved into the data, to measure what percentage of the many surveyed areas across Devon and Cornwall came out with a consistent ‘excellent’ rating over the last 3 years. 

The findings show that many popular beach locations in Devon like Woolacombe and Combesgate have been rated with ‘excellent’ water quality over the last 3 years. This trend extends through Cornwall, with areas like Polzeath and Daymer Bay also enjoying a consistently positive rating. 

Whether you’re a tourist or a local, you can feel confident that the salty sea you love to swim in is as clean as possible, and can benefit your health too!

73.8% of beaches surveyed across Cornwall and Devon achieve an ‘excellent’ rating

Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks put together a database looking at all of the beaches across Devon and Cornwall and found that 73.8% of those surveyed have consistently scored an  ‘excellent’ bathing rating over the last 3 years. Further examples of areas include Beacon Cove in Devon, Slapton Sands Torcross in Devon and Watergate Bay in Cornwall. 

23.1% do not have consistently ‘excellent’ bathing over the last 3 years. Examples include Mothecombe in Devon which has achieved ‘good’, as well as Wherry Town in Cornwall. Some areas have slipped in their rating, like Sandy Bay in Devon which moved to ‘sufficient’ from ‘good’ in 2023. Some areas have improved, like Croyde in Devon achieving ‘excellent’ in 2023 after only securing ‘good’ in both 2021 and 2022. Results can shift on a yearly basis, so there’s potential for this result to increase beyond 73.8% in the years to come. 

N/A comes in at 3.1%, which includes areas where bathing is no longer recommended or the area is closed. Instow in Devon and Perranporth in Cornwall are examples that achieved this result. 

Interestingly, the findings show no real correlation between worsening water quality as you approach a populated city area. For example, Plymouth Hoe West has kept a consistent ‘excellent’ rating throughout the last 3 years, and Plymouth Hoe East achieved ‘excellent’ in 2023 after staying ‘good’ during 2020 and 2021. This is the case for the South West only, and elsewhere may show a different trend. 

Overall, it’s clear Devon and Cornwall are great areas for water quality, one of the contributing factors to living or visiting the South West. If you are looking for somewhere to stay in North Devon, Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks is a great option for a family holiday offering camping, caravans & hot tub lodges moments from the beach.


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