Dry weather means clean beaches
Fewer storms buffeting the British coast means less pollution is being slammed into the shoreline or washed into the sea - leading to a record number of sites making the grade for the annual Good Beach Guide.
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) recommended over 500 bathing beaches of the 800 it tests every year, smashing the previous record of 453 set in 2004.
The number of beaches that failed to meet legal requirements for water quality fell to 30, well below last year's figure of 52.
homas Bell, MCS Coastal Pollution Officer, said: "The results of this year's Good Beach Guide are fantastic news for UK beach-goers, who can choose from a record 507 recommended bathing sites.
"Britain's beaches have definitely bounced back from the relative low of summer 2004, which was one of the wettest on record.
"There was so little storm related pollution running into the sea last summer that bathing water quality remained consistently high, particularly on beaches in South East England and around Cardigan Bay in Wales.
"Water companies have also invested heavily in wastewater management systems over the last ten years, and these two factors combined to produce great water quality results."
The MCS Good Beach Guide is one of four beach 'award' initiatives, but is the only scheme that focuses entirely on water quality standards and the risk of sewage pollution.
MCS will only recommend beaches in the Good Beach Guide if they meet the Guideline European water quality standard, and are not affected by inadequately treated sewage.
The guide can be found online here.