A survey by The Marine Conservation Society has found that fewer UK beaches are likely to see you lounging around in human faeces than at any point since 2006.
It rated 421 of 769 beaches as “almost entirely shit free” - 33 more than 2009, but below the 505 rated highly in 2006.
The results, though positive, show that it is still highly likely that swimming around most UK beaches could leave you with a mouthful of the contents of several well-used toilets.
The society’s coastal pollution officer said they were pleased with the progress made, but that recent flooding had caused pollution issues.
“This country produces an inordinate amount of shit, a large proportion of which is pumped out to sea for you and I to wade through during a thoroughly disappointing domestic holiday.”
“This situation was only made worse by the floods of the last two years, meaning much of the shit you’re swimming through is completely untreated.”
The current European rules on shit-free beaches is due to change in 2015, with many currently ‘clean’ UK beaches to be reclassified as ’skat pools’.
One beach inspector told us, “The maximum amount of shit you are allowed to swim in, according to the current ‘generous’ EU legislation, is actually surprisingly high. I’ve seen cess pits technically clean enough to swim in, according to Brussels.”
“It would be nice to think that one day our children, or even our children’s children, might be able to paddle in our waters without the threat of contracting a lethal dose of dysentery, but right now I’d suggest wading in full hazmat suits, or just stick to hill walking holidays if you’re not going abroad.”
“Unless ingesting other people’s shit if your thing, of course.”