The water quality at bathing beaches in the New Forest has been officially classified as excellent, according to new tougher assessments by the Environment Agency (EA).

The three beaches owned and maintained by NFDC, at Calshot, Milford on Sea, and Barton on Sea have all achieved the highest level possible of ‘Excellent’ under the new, more stringent European Bathing Water Directive.

Joanne McClay, New Forest District Council’s service manager for environmental protection said, “I am thrilled our beaches have achieved this accolade. With the warmer weather on the way, residents and visitors to our coast can be assured that the water quality is excellent for swimming and water sports at our beaches.”

The Environment Agency (EA) takes weekly samples and the water quality is classified as excellent, good, sufficient, or poor, based upon their laboratory testing to check how clean the water is.

Visitors to the beaches who are keen to know more about the water quality can see the weekly results at, which is also displayed on the boards along the coast.