Luke and some of the volunteers in the water at Firestone Bay
Luke and some of the volunteers in the water at Firestone Bay

Devil’s Point and Firestone Bay today [15 May] became an official bathing water, with the official bathing water season beginning today, following an eighteen-month campaign by Plymouth MP Luke Pollard.

Luke launched his bathing water campaign in January 2022 after shocking reports of sewage being routinely discharged into seas and rivers across the country. Defra confirmed in April 2023 that the campaign had been successful, with official bathing water status granted.

The campaign attracted widespread support from Plymothians. 1,000 residents signed Luke’s bathing water petition, which he presented to Parliament in March 2022.

More than 100 local volunteers helped Luke count swimmers at Devil’s Point in June 2022. Over 6,500 water users were recorded in the single month, helping to strengthen the bathing water application.

The Environment Agency must now regularly test water quality at Devil’s Point and make the results publicly available, giving swimmers, kayakers and paddleboarders peace of mind that it is safe to take a dip.

Luke Pollard, Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, said:  

“Today is a big day for Plymouth as Devil’s Point and Firestone Bay becomes an official bathing water after an eighteen-month campaign.

“I want to thank everyone who helped me in getting this campaign over the line, from signing petitions to counting swimmers to submitting written evidence. It’s been a huge team effort.

“As a Janner and wild swimmer, I’m proud to have launched this campaign. With raw sewage being regularly discharged into Britain’s rivers and seas, our communities need peace of mind that it’s safe to take a dip.

I will be pushing for bathing water status to be a catalyst for further investment at Devil’s Point, with repair of the tidal pool next on the to-do list.

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