Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

How clean are North Devon’s beaches?

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 November 2017

Westward Ho! beach has been rated 'excellent'

Westward Ho! beach has been rated 'excellent'


Find out what the water quality is like at your local beach from a list of 13 North Devon beaches

Woolacombe has once again been rated 'excellent' Woolacombe has once again been rated 'excellent'

More than half of the beaches in North Devon have been rated as ‘excellent’ following the release of this year’s bathing water quality results.

Eight beaches have the highest standard in the Environment Agency’s 2017 classification.

Combesgate Beach at Woolacombe, Hartland Quay, Ilfracombe’s Tunnels Beach, Lynmouth, Putsborough, Saunton Sands, Westward Ho! and Woolacombe Village are the beaches branded excellent.

The EA calculates a bathing water classification annually, based on samples from the previous four years. The ratings range from ‘poor’ to ‘sufficient’, ‘good’ and ‘excellent’.

Instow beach Instow beach

Croyde Bay and Hele at Ilfracombe both remain ‘good’.

But after being downgraded to sufficient last year, Combe Martin has this year been rated as ‘poor’, joining Instow and Ilfracombe’s Wildersmouth beach.

North Devon Council’s executive member for tourism, Councillor Pat Barker, said; “It’s great news for tourism that so many beaches in North Devon have been classified as having excellent or good bathing water quality.

“Now that more information is readily available online people are more inclined to check ratings before booking a holiday.

“Water sports is proving to be an increasingly popular attraction to the area for holiday makers as well as being enjoyed by our local residents throughout the year.”

A new and much tougher classification system was introduced three years ago under a scheme that covers all bathing waters in England.

The water quality at designated bathing sites is assessed independently by the EA from May to September each year.

The weekly assessments measure current water quality which feed into the annual rating,

Torridge District Council’s lead member for community, culture and leisure, Councillor Phil Pennington, said: “This is the third time that water quality has been assessed against the new and much tougher EU standards but Torridge’s beaches have once again come through with flying colours achieving the very top grading.

“This is further proof, if any were needed, that Torridge really is a great place to come on holiday with some of the best and cleanest beaches and water in the Country.

“We hope this will continue to inspire visitors to spend more time along our beautiful coastline.”

For a more detailed look at how North Devon’s beaches got on, visit the Environment Agency website.

Other News Stories


A Barnstaple A road has been blocked after a crash involving two vehicles.

Read more

Bratton Fleming Village Stores is settling into its new home thanks to a huge effort from the community.

Read more

South Molton Rugby Club has handed over more than £4,000 to the charity MIND in memory of their former team-mate.

Read more

Will you be buying a EuroMillions ticket for tomorrow night’s draw? If so, you could be in with a chance at a £141million jackpot.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:19

Barnstaple photographer Tristan Clarkson highlights the beautiful side of Barnstaple with his camera - see more of his photos here.

Read more
Saturday, February 17, 2018

Big sound soul band Soul Intention will be performing to raise money for the hospital charity’s Cancer and Wellbeing Centre Appeal on Saturday, February 24.

Read more
Saturday, February 17, 2018

People across North Devon felt the earth move today (Saturday) after an earth tremor hit the UK.

Read more
Saturday, February 17, 2018

An earthquake has been felt by people in Devon this afternoon.

Read more
Saturday, February 17, 2018

Check out this week’s gallery of photos sent in by Gazette readers through our image-sharing website iwitness24.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 9°C

min temp: 7°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications