Campaign launched to make sea water cleaner at Yorkshire’s most popular beach

Scarborough's South Bay. PIC: Simon Hulme
Scarborough's South Bay. PIC: Simon Hulme

A campaign will be launched to help improve water quality at Yorkshire’s most popular beach after holidaymakers were warned against swimming in the sea.

nvironmental bosses in Scarborough hope to improve the cleanliness of the town’s South Bay after it was put on a list of seven beaches in England where bathing is not advised. People will be asked to dispose of litter and not to feed seabirds to help with the clean-up after the beach failed to meet minimum water quality standards for two years running.

It follows an environmental report which found that seagulls, tourists, dogs and trade water had all contributed to the problems.

Measures to raise standards have been launched by the Yorkshire Bathing Water Partnership, made up of the Environment Agency, Scarborough Borough Council, Yorkshire Water 
and East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

The partnership said work already started included issuing non-harmful dye tablets to boats to find out if they are polluting the water from their toilets and waste tanks.

New disposal facilities are also being built on the harbour to make sure waste goes into the sewers and not the sea.

A spokesman for the partnership said: “The installation of these new facilities is well under way and is due to be complete by early June.

“The partnership is also progressing work to reduce the impact of both gulls and dogs on bathing beaches, for example through installing gull-proof bins and improving the enforcement of seasonal dog bans on beaches.

“We are also currently developing a new education and information campaign to help make residents and visitors aware of the steps that they can take to help maintain and improve bathing water quality, for example by disposing of litter properly, picking up after their dogs and not feeding seabirds.”

Sewer storm overflows and trade waste discharges were also being investigated to assess their impact on water quality, the partnership said.

The spokesman added: “In February, the Bathing Water Partnership met with councillors and traders from Scarborough South Bay to update them on the investigation results and we will be keeping them up to date as the work progresses.”

The seven beaches where the Environment Agency has warned people against bathing are Scarborough South Bay, Instow, Combe Martin, Ilfracombe Wildersmouth, Burnham Jetty North, Weston-Super-Mare Uphill Slipway and Clacton.