The North West and Isle of Man may be home to half the UK's dirtiest beaches, but some have achieved the 'recommended' category - the Marine Conservation Society's highest rating for water cleanliness. They are:
- St Bees
- West Kirkby
The North West's beaches, including Fleetwood, are some of the dirtiest in the UK according to the Marine Conservation Society.
According to the 2012 Good Beach Guide out today, the Isle of Man has some of the the dirtiest beaches in Britain. 7 failed the Marine Conservation Society's test, which measures water for pollutants such as raw sewage. Only two beaches - Castletown and Derbyhaven - are classed as 'recommended'.
Without immediate action to reduce this type of pollution, many of the beaches in the North West may not meet the new, stricter bathing water standards from 2015 onwards.
The North West experienced some heavy summer downpours during 2011, which can reduce the quality of bathing waters, by causing untreated sewage to discharge into coastal waters.
It also increases surface water run-off, which may contain livestock waste and dog faeces from farm land and city streets, polluting coastal waters.
The North West is once again the worst performing region in England for water quality.
Only eight out of 37 (22%) beaches are recommended by the Marine Conservation Society for excellent water quality in this year's Good Beach Guide.