Wales completes bathing water season despite Covid restrictions

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) have successfully sampled, tested and designated Wales’ bathing waters despite restrictions put in place to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic.

This year marks the third year that Wales’ beaches are 100% compliant with the Bathing Waters Directive, with 80% of designated beaches achieving an ‘excellent’ status.

Working closely with Welsh Government, Local Authorities and Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, NRW visited all 105 designated bathing water sites, and collected and analysed water quality samples throughout the bathing season.

Due to the impacts of coronavirus on working practices, completing the 2020 programme posed considerable challenges. The monitoring season, which usually runs from May to September was delayed after it was found that the pandemic would impact on the ability to undertake water sampling fully and safely.

Monitoring finally got underway in June with samples taken from all designated sites and analysed in a specialist laboratory. Clare Pillman, CEO of Natural Resources Wales, said:

“Monitoring and maintaining our natural resources is a cornerstone of the work we do and I’m so proud of our staff pulling together and getting this important job done despite the unprecedented times we find ourselves in.

“This year’s results show how hard we and our partners are working both locally and nationally but also the tremendous dedication that our organisations have to an important environmental service.

“We’re incredibly proud of everyone involved in getting these results in what seemed like an impossible time to carry out such a task. We look forward to Wales continuing to work as a team to protect and improve our beaches and the benefits they bring to us.”