Our wonderful coastline

Busy ports, famous beaches, nature reserves and miles of unspoilt land – the North West coast, which stretches from the Wirral peninsular in the south to Gretna in the north, is as diverse as it is long. There are 29 beaches designated as bathing waters for swimming or paddling. But our much loved coastal region is also much used. With a population of around 7 million, thousands of visitors flocking to the area every week, and numerous industrial sites, the region serves many needs. That’s why we're determined to help keep this precious area clean and safe.

In 1988, 23 out of the 29 designated bathing waters failed mandatory standards, but in 2014 all of the North West's beaches passed. Our coast is cleaner than it has ever been.

In 2015, new and tougher standards were introduced and 90 per cent of North West beaches reached at least satisfactory standard. A number of different factors were to blame for the small number of failures, including rainwater running off agricultural land, dog owners not cleaning up after their pets and issues linked to our wastewater network. Taking the North West as a whole, the sewers are only about 30 per cent of the problem.

In 2019 all of the designated bathing waters in the North West achieved at least satisfactory standard.

There is still work to be done, and we remain committed to playing our part in making sure your beaches are clean, safe and something to be proud of.