May 25, 2016
EU rules prompt new guidance on swimming and paddling in Burnham

A new guide has been unveiled this week to explain which areas of Burnham-On-Sea's coastline are deemed safe for swimming and paddling under strict new EU regulations.

Burnham's Coastal Officer, Harriet Yates-Smith, who is running a campaign called Litter Free Coast and Sea Somerset, led by the Severn Estuary Partnership, has launched the new leaflets.

Copies are available to download here and printed copies will also be distributed from Burnham's Tourist Information Centre and other locations.

The launch of the leaflets and new seafront signs comes after new EU regulations came into force this month, leaving Burnham with a low score for its sea water quality.

Harriet, pictured right, told "Some people are confused about the new regulations, so the leaflets are aimed at informing people about the changes to bathing water standards and explain where they can go for a safe dip in the sea or a paddle."

“The leaflet also contains information about where dogs can be walked on local beaches, with guidance about where you can dispose of litter to help keep the beach clean”

"It's a friendly, approachabled, informative guide that's aimed at residents and visitors."

The leaflets are being produced with the support of Sedgemoor District Council, Wessex Water, the Environment Agency and Severn Estuary Partnership.

It is a legal requirement for the council to alert users to the dangers posed by the water - and the leaflets are part of the communication process.

The EU's poor sea water classification has resulted in Burnham's annual summer Stert Island swim being cancelled, ending a 15-year tradition. Last week Burnham missed out on a Seaside Award because of the classification.

The new leaflets will also be available at this Saturday's Burnham-On-Sea Food and Drink Festival where a 'Litter Free Coast and Sea Somerset' stand will also show residents how to reduce pollution through proper food waste disposal.

"Bathing water quality here really can be improved if everyone does their little bit," added Harriet. "There has been lots of positive interest - people really want to get involved. Everyone wants to look after Burnham's beach."

Burnham Jetty North was one of 10 beaches across the UK that were previously regarded as safe but are now deemed unsuitable for swimming under the new EU standards - even though local people say the quality is no worse now than it used to be.

Download a free copy of the new leaflet by clicking here


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