More North East bathing waters than ever before have been rated ‘Excellent' in the latest classifications announced today by Defra.


For the second year running, 33 of the region's 34 designated bathing waters have achieved either ‘Excellent' or ‘Good' ratings, with the number achieving the highest categorisation rising from 24 to 25.


A further eight are ‘Good', while multi-agency work continues at Cullercoats, to identify and remedy the causes of it being the only bathing water not to pass the standards.


At the turn of the Century, the North East had only four bathing waters that achieved the standards in place at the time.


Compliance is based on the current and previous four years of sample data (a maximum of 80 samples per beach, from 2016 to 2019).   The samples are taken by the Environment Agency between May and September each year to assess the bathing waters against the strict regulations.  


Northumbrian Water's Wastewater Director, Richard Warneford, said: "Once again, we have seen 33 of our region's 34 designated bathing waters rated ‘Excellent' or ‘Good' but we have also seen an improvement across the board, with more of these hitting that top classification for the 2020 season.


"This is down to work by a wide range of partners, including the Environment Agency, local authorities and community interest groups, as well as more than two decades of investment by ourselves that has contributed to rising standards.


"Our work to enhance areas of our network, such as storm water storage facilities, and diverting surface water away from sewers through the introduction of sustainable drainage solutions, will have had played their part in delivering these results and a safer, more enjoyable, bathing environment. We will continue to work with all relevant partners to investigate how we can continue to improve all of our region's bathing waters."


North East bathing waters which have achieved the ‘excellent' standard are Bamburgh Castle, Seahouses North, Beadnell, Newbiggin North, Low Newton, Warkworth, Amble Links, Druridge Bay North, Druridge Bay South, Blyth South, Seaton Sluice, Whitley Bay, Tynemouth Longsands North, Tynemouth Longsands South, Tynemouth King Edwards Bay, Seaburn (Whitburn North), Roker (Whitburn South), Seaham, Crimdon, Seaton Carew (Centre), Seaton Carew (North Gare), Redcar Coatham, Redcar Lifeboat Station, Redcar Stray, and Saltburn.


Those that have achieved the ‘good' standard are Spittal, Newbiggin South, South Shields, Marsden, Seaham Hall, Seaton Carew (North), Redcar Granville and Marske Sands.


Northumbrian Water is encouraging its customers to also help to look after the region's bathing waters by only flushing toilet paper, pee and poo down the loo and by not putting grease and fat down drains. This will help to prevent blockages and potential pollution.


• For more detailed information on these bathing water results please log on to or

• Each bathing water will have to display a standardised symbol for its classification. The symbols and further information can be found at If a bathing water is designated as poor it must also display the standardised ‘advice against bathing' symbol.

• The Environment Agency publishes information about water quality at England's bathing waters on their online bathing water data explorer, which can be found at