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Two sites being awarded bathing water status is 'important and welcome step'

Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson has said two sites being awarded bathing water status is ‘an important and most welcome step’.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) confirmed that sites in Oxford and the Isle of Wight would be classed as bathing water designations following a public consultation.

In total there were 1,267 responses to the Wolvercote Mill Stream, Oxford, consultation – the largest response to date for a proposed bathing water designation.

A total of 1,260 were in favour of making the site a designated bathing water area.

The East Cowes Esplanade, Isle of Wight, consultation received 132 responses, with 131 supporting the proposed designation.

There to be enjoyed

Jane said: “Swim England responded to the recent consultation on this issue to make the case for bathing water designation at Wolvercote Mill Stream at Port Meadow in Oxford and the East Cowes esplanade on the Isle of Wight.

“I’d also thank our members and swimmers up and down the country who took the time to respond to the consultation, as well as the dedicated local campaigners who have worked tirelessly on this issue.

“Whilst bathing water designation isn’t a solution in itself, it sends a clear message that these stretches of water are there to be enjoyed.

“It is an important and most welcome step as it will increase the monitoring of water quality at the site and help to drive further improvements into the health of these waters.”

Monitoring will begin at both sites from May 15, the beginning of the bathing water season, and the results of water quality testing will be used to classify the bathing waters in the autumn.