Bathing water at four Co Derry beaches are amongst the best in Europe, according to the latest figures.

Bathing water quality at Benone, Downhill, Castlerock and Portstewart have been classified as ‘excellent’ according to the Department of the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

David Small, Head of DAERA’s Environment, Marine and Fisheries Group, welcomed the publication of the 2018 results.

“This is a superb result for our beaches, especially given the changeable weather our coastline is often subject to, but more importantly, it’s good news for our holidaymakers and bathers who can confidently enjoy our fabulous beaches,” he said.

“We take great pride in these results and know that maintaining them will take a sustained effort. We will continue to work to reduce water pollution to keep our bathing waters clean and safe.

“Our beaches are a priceless resource to tourism and to the health and well-being of our local communities and visitors alike. It is imperative that we continue to strive for the very highest of standards,” added Mr Small.

The results were announced today at the Better Beaches Forum whose members include DAERA, NI Water, coastal local authorities, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, the National Trust, Surfers Against Sewage and some coastal community groups.

The Forum works to improve water quality, improve beach cleanliness, manage facilities and keep the public better informed.

Pictured above is Benone beach.

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