Budleigh beach water is 'good', says Defra

PUBLISHED: 12:30 17 November 2015

Cllr Tom Wright is pictured at Steamer Steps overlooking Budleigh beach where the water quality have achieved a 'good' status. Ref exb 6131-46-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Cllr Tom Wright is pictured at Steamer Steps overlooking Budleigh beach where the water quality have achieved a 'good' status. Ref exb 6131-46-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Archant

Beach-goers in Budleigh Salterton can swim in some of the cleanest waters in the region, according to a government watchdog.

The town’s beach is one of seven in East Devon to have passed ‘stringent’ new rules set by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Budleigh was credited with having a ‘good standard’ of bathing water.

District councillor Tom Wright paid tribute to farmer Tom Pyne, who put up a fence to stop his cattle from drinking in the River Otter, which runs down to the beach.

Councillor Wright said: “The Environment Agency (EA) is carrying out very detailed investigations in all the watercourses that feed Budleigh beach and are able to negotiate with landowners to do what they can to minimise the impact of things like agriculture.

“One of the obvious results of this was to persuade Tom Pyne to fence-off the river by Clamour Bridge. Thanks are due to the farmer, and also to Clinton Devon Estates, for their actions.”

Tom Pyne, of Pulhayes Farm, said: “I am absolutely delighted. One can only be delighted – I find it’s quite amazing really.”

The Defra classification was based on combined results from the past three years.

Bathing water quality is measured by the amount of bacteria within a water sample. Counts are undertaken throughout the bathing season to see if the water quality meets the European Union (EU) standards.

Bathing waters at Budleigh beach are tested by EA at weekly intervals between May and September, with a minimum of 20 samples tested.

East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) environmental health team receives daily water quality risk forecasts from the EA.

Budleigh’s beach was one of seven East Devon beaches to be classed as either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.

Iain Chubb, East Devon district councillor for environment, said: “This is a fantastic result, which is the outcome of the ongoing work we are doing with the Environment Agency to manage our beaches on the beautiful Jurassic Coast.”

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