Six months ago Poppit Sands was in danger of losing its prized Blue Flag status after findings revealed it was the worst polluted Blue Flag beach in the whole of the UK.

This week, despite alarm bells continuing to sound concerning the true and accurate state of its seas, Poppit has been told that once again it will fly the coveted Blue Flag throughout the season that extends from June 1 until the end of September.

Analysis of official Environment Agency figures for 2022 showed that Poppit beach was soiled by sewage discharge on no fewer than 79 separate occasions, despite its Blue Flag status.  This amounted to a total of 1,519 hours.

“We have real concerns about this Blue Flag marker as it suggests that Poppit has an absolutely trustworthy standard for swimmers, surfers and everyone else who goes into the sea,” commented St Dogmaels resident and ‘Save the Teifi’ campaigner Piers Partridge.

“But they need to clarify what this actually means. Last year Poppit was named as the worst Blue Flag beach in the whole of the UK with 79 sewage dump incidents.”

Mr Partridge says he and others who visit Poppit Sands on a regular basis, fear that the sub-standard conditions will continue throughout 2023.

Earlier this week he filmed large clumps of a brown-sludgy foam floating off the Poppit shoreline.

“It’s possible that it was the phaeocystis algae that forms during daylight hours and is caused by excessive amounts of nutrients in the water,” explained Mr Partridge.

“It’s usually associated with stormy weather but when I saw it, it was a flat, calm morning.”

Mr Partridgr said his concerns were further heightened when he discovered a dead bird lying on the shoreline.

“It was a black-backed gull that didn’t look underweight, yet it was lying cold dead at the edge of the shore," he said.

Western Telegraph: The dead gull, found at Poppit BeachThe dead gull, found at Poppit Beach (Image: Piers Partridge)

“It’s hard to be sure what’s going on in these waters, but far more testing needs to be done, particularly in light of last year’s results.

“And far more information needs to be made available.

“Every beach awarded the Blue Flag also has to display its bathing water quality information on a Blue Flag information board, but at Poppit, there is no information board and neither, more worryingly, is there any information informing us of the water quality. This means that they're failing to enforce their criteria.”

Mr Partridge's fears are now being shared by a growing number of people who are becoming increasingly concerned at the water quality in the sea as well as the rivers that feed into it.

“It’s been happening for a long time, but the water companies who continue to dump illegally into our waters must now be held to account'" he said.

“They’ve have been taking our money readily enough, and have done absolutely nothing to upgrade the system, with the result that our country has now reached the tipping point.

“When I was a child growing up in St Dogmaels, we would only see people going into the sea during the summer months. but now they go in for 12 months of the year. And this is why we need to be told, and regularly updated, on the quality of our waters.

“We’ve dealt with air pollution. It’s now essential that the same thing is done with water.”