Proposal to remove Silloth from the list of bathing waters

Closed 17 Jun 2016

Opened 6 May 2016


The Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC) protects bathers' health at popular beaches and inland waters by requiring water quality to be monitored for intestinal enterococci and E.coli during the bathing season, which in England runs from 15 May to 30 September. The Directive applies to waters that are used by a large number of bathers and where bathing is supported and promoted by the local authority or private owner.

If a bathing water is de-designated, monitoring for bathing water standards would cease and there would be no further investment specifically directed at meeting these standards. There would no longer be a legal requirement for public information about water quality to be provided.

Other measures are in place to protect the water environment generally, including the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC), the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC).

Why your views matter

During summer 2014 Defra commissioned a survey of beach usage at Silloth because it had been anecdotally reported to have been little used for bathing over several years. The objective was to assess whether it should remain on the list of designated bathing waters. A further reason for considering Silloth for de-designation as a bathing water is that there are concerns about whether the site is safe for swimming because of strong tidal currents.

We would like to know your views on whether the beach should be removed from the list of bathing waters on the basis of low usage for bathing and public safety, and whether you have any additional evidence about how it is used. The consultation document gives information from the survey about the level of usage and the facilities available.

The consultation will be open until 17 June 2016.  Your response can be submitted through the online survey, or by email or by post to the contact details below

Bathing Water team


Area 3D Nobel House

17 Smith Square

London SW1P 3JR




  • Environmental campaigners
  • Coastal local authorities
  • Recreation sector
  • Coastal Management sector
  • Families
  • Leisure industry
  • Tourism industry


  • Water quality
  • Bathing waters