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Staithes' beach at risk of being de-classified

A seaside village near Whitby, which has the most polluted swimming water in England, may lose its designation as a beach.

Staithes could be de-classified as a bathing spot, because it has persistently failed to reach the European Union standards for water quality.

  • Runoff from farmers fields, slurry, cow-waste, runs down into the beck, which in turn runs into the harbour and onto the beach, polluting the bathing water.

The Government now wants views about whether pollution tests at the beach should be stopped altogether.

After considering evidence on the number of bathers at Staithes, we are consulting on whether or not we continue to monitor water quality at these sites.

We would like to hear from all interested parties and encourage everyone to take part and tell us their views."

– Defra spokesperson

“We applied to Defra to de-designate the bathing water on the basis of low bathing numbers, a lack of infrastructure to support bathing and the fact that the beach is not promoted as a bathing beach. The decision to apply followed a public consultation that we carried out last summer and an independent beach user survey conducted in summer 2013. Defra’s consultation runs until 30 September this year and we encourage people who wish to participate, to do so.

“Unfortunately Staithes has a history of poor water quality and despite the best efforts of ourselves and our partners in the Yorkshire Bathing Water Partnership to mitigate the sources of pollution using a range of measures over the last few years, we have been unable to identify a solution that would offer a significant enough improvement in bathing water quality for it to reliably achieve the minimum standard of ‘Sufficient’ under the revised Bathing Water Directive.

– Scarborough Borough Council

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Yorkshire Cancer Research reveals £5m projects

Projects for diagnosing, treating and caring for cancer patients across Yorkshire are to get a major funding boost.

It's been announced that Yorkshire Cancer Research, based in Harrogate, is to invest £5 million in nine projects to address what the charity describes as a North-South divide in cancer outcomes.

We're extremely proud to be funding such vital research in Yorkshire thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

This is a very substantial investment in projects with a huge regional significance which will take us one step closer to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on people who live in Yorkshire."

– Charles Rowett, Chief Executive Yorkshire Cancer Research

As part of the funding the charity will invest £1.5m in a five-year project aimed at improving the survival of bowel cancer patients through better quality surgery, radiology and pathology.


Yorkshire sword dancers to march on Richmond

Longsword dancing dates back as far as the 11th century Credit: PA

Richmond will play host to an ancient Yorkshire tradition when teams of sword dancers from across England take part in a tournament this weekend.

Around a dozen teams of dancers will perform around the centre when the Sword Dance Union holds its annual longsword dance competition in the town.

Longsword dancing is particularly associated with Yorkshire and teams from Newcastle will be travelling to London to take part in the event.

Organiser Vince Rutland, a member of Sallyport Sword Dancers from Newcastle, said the event visits a different town or city each year:

We'll be performing in various public places around the town before the judged competition takes place in Richmond town hall.

Sword dancing is a tradition which dates back hundreds of years in Yorkshire and many towns and villages in this area once had teams of their own.

Much of it died out in the late 19th century but new teams have taken their place in recent years, while Yorkshire still has four teams which can date their history back centuries. One of these, from Goathland, will be taking part in the tournament.

– Vince Rutland


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Mark Cavendish pledges 2015 Tour appearance

Mark Cavendish has been on Twitter today for an impromptu Q&A session. He has been asked about his diet, racing rituals and techniques as well as his hobbies and interests.

As expected though, many fans have been asking about the shoulder injury he suffered on Stage One of the Tour de France:

Asked whether he thought Team Sky would regret not putting Bradley Wiggans and Chris Froome in their line up, especially following Froome's injury and withdrawal, Cavendish was carefully diplomatic in his response:

But he is determined to be back up and running in good time to compete for next year's Tour.

Quarter of people want to visit Yorkshire after Tour de France

The success of the Tour de France in Yorkshire is expected to create a tourism boom in the region.

The Tour de France passes through Haworth in Yorkshire Credit: Martin Rickett/PA

A survey has shown a quarter of the country now want to visit Yorkshire. One third of people changed their opinion of the county after watching the biggest Grand Départ in history.

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