Thanks to the EU over 95% of the UK’s beaches are clean enough to swim in. EU rules to protect the environment have had a hugely positive impact since they were introduced in the 1970s.

These rules cover issues such as the cleanliness of beaches, pollution, the planning process and public access to information. These measures safeguard public health and ensure we have clean bathing waters across Europe.

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Thanks to these rules, the water quality and beaches in the UK and the rest of Europe have dramatically improved. 95% of bathing waters around Europe are now rated as high quality, and out of a total of 596 coastal bathing areas in the UK 96.8% met the EU water quality standards in 2010.