Anglian Water on a mission to maintain the high standards on the region’s wonderful beaches

Anglian Water BeachCare project at Southend PIC: Matthew Power Photography

Anglian Water BeachCare project at Southend PIC: Matthew Power Photography - Credit: Archant

We have some of the best beaches in the country and Anglian Water’s BeachCare project, run alongside Keep Britain Tidy, is making sure they are in tip top condition all year round, as Regan Harris explains.

Beach board advertising 2 minute beach clean initiative

Beach board advertising 2 minute beach clean initiative - Credit: Archant

Next week marks the start of the official bathing water season and with the beaches across the East of England being some of the nation’s favorites, Anglian Water is on a mission to help keep them in shape this summer.

We’re investing over £350,000 this year to protect and maintain the excellent standards of the region’s coastal waters and beaches which tourism economies and businesses rely on and the UK’s population rushes to enjoy at the first sign of sunshine. The money will also be used to help extend Anglian Water’s BeachCare and RiverCare initiatives to cover more miles of coastline and rivers than ever before to help keep beaches and bathing waters free of litter.

Of the 49 bathing waters across the East of England, 31 are rated as ‘Excellent’ against European water quality standards with a further 12 achieving a ‘Good’ rating. The results mean our region is home to around a quarter of England’s best beaches.

This year Anglian Water’s BeachCare programme has teamed up with the charity ‘2 minute beach clean’ to install six ‘2 minute beach clean’ boards. The boards will be put on the shorefront at designated beaches and contain a litter picker as well as rubbish bags to help visitors undertake their own mini beach cleans.

Some of the boards are already in situ up and down the East Anglian coastline, however new boards will be installed this year in Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Felixstowe.

The Anglian Water and Keep Britain Tidy’s BeachCare initiative has been modeled on the successful RiverCare project where organised local community groups look after stretches of inland waterways. There are currently over 40 RiverCare groups in the East of England.

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Andrew Walters, RiverCare and BeachCare project manager, said: “Two minutes out of your day might not seem very much, but every piece of plastic and litter removed from the marine environment is no longer a danger to marine life and the quality of the water.

“We have some of the best bathing waters in the country and we want to work to empower local residents and visitors to do their bit to keep the region’s beaches in excellent condition all year round. Alongside active volunteers who have established BeachCare groups, we know many frequent visitors to the beach and coastal residents with busy lives want to do their bit too. A two minute beach clean is a quick, simple and easy way to play your part and help keep the beach looking its best.”

“The problem of plastic pollution and littering on our beaches is gathering more and more attention. Local Beachcare groups are helping to survey the litter and find out how much of a problem plastic is on our much loved beaches.

“Dropping litter, not cleaning up after dogs, even what people put down sinks and toilets, has a huge cumulative impact on our local environment. Coastal communities in particular can be affected by this first-hand, which is why BeachCare is helping to tackle the issue in the town in our coastal towns.

Water is vital to our way of life and we’re putting it at the heart of our way of living by working with communities to protect our beaches and rivers. We want to help people understand the connection between what’s in the environment and what comes out of our taps. As part of this we’re keen to work with coastal communities, to encourage people to get involved in helping to protect our region’s waterways and shorelines.”

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