English and Welsh Bathing Waters Classifications 2020


Defra normally releases updated Bathing Water Classifications in November each year, however the 2020 results have not been published due to the pandemic affecting the amount of sampling that could take place. Defra’s press release states:

“This is due to the severe impacts on bathing water monitoring and analysis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and the necessary adherence with government guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus. An official statistic has not been produced for 2020.”

The Environment Agency said:

“Bathing water quality in England has been of a very high standard in recent years, with 98.3% of waters passing the minimum standard last year – and 71% being classified as ‘Excellent’. Due to lockdown restrictions being in place for much of the spring, we do not have sufficient data to classify bathing waters for 2020. The classifications awarded at the end of 2019 applied to designated bathing waters this year. Monitoring and classification for the full bathing season will resume next year.”

Click here to read the Environment Agency’s blog on bathing waters and more on bathing water quality in England.


Although the pandemic delayed the start of the bathing water sampling season Natural Resources Wales worked to ensure sampling took place at all 105 Welsh bathing water sites from June and so the Welsh Government has published the results. Click here to view the results. 

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