Book and review 7,766 holiday parks and campsites in the UK, Europe and the Americas

Could do better: Pitchup.com responds to latest European report on UK beaches*

May 28 2014 Posted by Samantha Marsh

European Environment Agency classifies 79% of UK bathing water sites 'excellent'

But UK fails to reach standards of Cyprus, Malta, Greece

Pitchup.com adds water data to 5,808 UK campsite listings

The latest annual report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) on the cleanliness of bathing water, released this week, shows that while 98% of UK sites tested in 2013 reached at least mandatory standards - an increase from 94% the previous year - the UK still lags behind the highest standards found abroad. All the bathing sites in Cyprus were deemed 'excellent', with Malta (99%), Croatia (95%) and Greece (93%) topping the cleanliness league table. Founder of outdoor accommodation specialist Pitchup.com, Dan Yates, believes the UK must try harder to keep its beaches pristine.

Yates said: “The report, which took samples from 22,000 bathing sites across Europe including 629 in the UK, finds that those holidaying in the UK can enjoy 'excellent' cleanliness at 79% of sites.”

“However, seven UK coastal locations were deemed ‘poor’ and therefore not compliant with EEA standards. This is a significant improvement on 2011 and 2012, when 14 and 36 locations received ‘poor’ status respectively, so hard work to keep water and beaches clean is paying off - but there’s still room for improvement as the UK trails behind several Mediterranean holiday hot spots. Given that tourism accounts for 9% of UK GDP** and was responsible for one-third of the net increase in UK jobs between 2010 and 2012, we must continue to take seriously the need to protect, clean and conserve our beaches. We’ve markedly reduced the number of non-compliant bathing waters around the UK from 36 in 2012 to seven in 2013, including the addition of five new non-compliant sites.”

The UK was far from the worst country, managing – with just 1% of sites listed as ‘poor’ – to beat the European Union member states of Estonia (6%), the Netherlands (5%), Belgium (4%), France (3%), Spain (3%) and Ireland (3%).

Pitchup.com has today added the latest data for nearest beaches to its 5,808 listings for campsites and caravan parks in the ‘Local attractions’ tab. Four years’ worth of bathing water data are displayed, mirroring the assessment period for tougher bathing water rules* due to implemented by 2015.

Holidaymakers may now make an informed decision about where to stay based on the proximity of beaches rated ‘excellent’. Yates said: “On our site you can search for a campsite or caravan park near the seaside, and over the past five years we’ve found this is one of our users’ favourite search criteria.”

Trevella Park in Cornwall is ideally located for guests to enjoy several beaches with an ‘excellent’ rating, including Fistral, famous for its surfing competition, and sandy Crantock, voted Best British Beach in 2013 by BBC Coast. Within easy walking or cycling distance of Newquay, with its boutiques, restaurants and the Blue Reef Aquarium – itself on Towan Beach, rated as ‘excellent’, Trevella Park offers spacious pitches for tents, tourers and motorhomes and provides facilities including family bathrooms, a heated outdoor pool and complementary coarse fishing on its two picturesque lakes. Two-bedroom ‘ready-tents’ (furnished with TV, fridge and kitchen) are available from £9.70 per person per night based on a seven-night stay in July for two adults and two children.

In Essex, Lee Wick Farm Cottages and Camping offers all the fun - and fresh food - of the farm (including potatoes grown in the surrounding fields) and provides an excellent base from which to explore the countryside and coast. Brightlingsea with its golden sands and jaunty beach huts is just over two miles away, while the vast swathes of golden sand at nearby Jaywick are ideal for walking or kite-flying; both beaches are accredited as ‘excellent’ by EEA. A Mega Pod (guests are invited to bring their camping kit without the tent) starts from £25 per person per night based on two adults staying two nights in June. 

Pencnwc Holiday Park near the beaches of New Quay in west Wales is a well-established family-run site ideal for exploring this part of Wales, currently in the spotlight for its connections with the poet Dylan Thomas. The highest-rating local beach is Traeth Gwyn, known for its golden sand, and within easy reach of the town with its restaurants, pubs and dolphin-spotting excursions. A non-electric grass pitch starts from £8.50 per person per night based on a two-night stay in June.

-Ends-

Press Contact:

Rob Bates: rob.bates@whitetigerpr.com; 07957 316491

Charlotte Osborne: charlotte.osborne@whitetigerpr.com; 07506 828175

Notes to editors

*The UK is one of six European countries reporting under transitional arrangements while other countries’ results are measured according to the new Bathing Water Directive 2006/7/EC. This introduces new requirements such as more stringent chemical thresholds and a four-year assessment period. All bathing waters in the EU will need to be at least of ‘sufficient’ quality by the end of the 2015 bathing season. See full EEA report here: www.eea.europa.eu/bathing-water 

**http://www.visitbritain.org/insightsandstatistics/visitoreconomyfacts/

Projected revised classifications for the UK are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/255310/bathing-water-classifications-112013.pdf

All prices correct at writing; subject to availability.

Notes to editors

Founded in 2009 by former lastminute.com man, Dan Yates, multi-award winning Pitchup.com is a free guide to all types of outdoor accommodation in the UK, Ireland and selected parts of Europe.  The site provides users with asimple platform in which they can search and book an outdoor holiday with total ease.  The customer experience from landing on the home page through to booking a holiday can be completed in as little as four pages.  The site also goes beyond traditional searches by allowing users to search for accommodation based on more than 80 criteria, such as adults only and campfires allowed, and view nearby events, Good Pub Guide pubs and VisitBritain attractions.  It’s also possible to check out bathing water quality in the surrounding area.  Users can also search on the offers page to find the best deals available.  Pitchup.com features over 5,000 UK-wide camping and caravanning sites/parks with European destinations continually being added into the equation.  It enables users to search for all types of parks and sites from the major brands right through to one-off campsites and unique outdoor accommodation options, which may not have previously had a web presence.