Weston Uphill Slipway beach fails water quality standard

The wettest summer on record has been blamed for a Weston-super-Mare beach failing a bathing water quality test.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) study found agricultural waste had been washed into Uphill Slipway beach from the River Axe.

The organisation said farmers must do more to prevent sewage overflowing into streams and rivers from their land.

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) in the South West said work was already under way to tackle the issue.

Pollution can be washed into the sea from agricultural run-off, poor plumbing and septic tanks.

Rachel Wyatt, of the MCS, said farmers must "look at land management practices, put up more fences to keep cattle out of rivers and change patterns of manure spreading".

Paul Cottington, of the NFU in the South West, said farmers had begun working on the issue with Natural England and the Environment Agency.

He said: "That will all help future-proof us for these kind of exceptional weather events."

The main beach in Weston-super-Mare received a pass in the MCS Good Beach Guide study, which focuses entirely on water quality standards and the risk of sewage pollution.

Wessex Water has spent £26m improving sewage treatment in the area.

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