Beach Check App

Contents:

  1. Project outputs
  2. Project timeline

This project, led by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council, has developed an app that helps to prevent overcrowding on UK beaches.

The Beach Check app was developed and piloted in 2020 by BCP Council. In 2021 it is being offered to all Beach Operators nationwide and the first expected to go live are: Adur & Worthing Councils, Havant Borough Council, Thanet District Council, West Wittering Estate, Redcar & Cleveland Council, Rother District Council and Torridge District Council.

All local authorities are invited to feature their beaches on the app and it is hoped that it will be used nationwide as part of the government’s COVID-19 safety measures.

About the app

The Beach Check UK app is a simple-to-use app that allows users to see how congested beaches are through a traffic light system, so that they can maintain social distancing.

Each section of the coast is coloured red, amber or green depending on how congested it is. At the start of the day, the map presents a prediction for how busy the beach is likely to become that day, based on several data points including CCTV, weather, and footfall counter data. From mid-morning onwards, the map is updated hourly by the Seafront Ranger team who patrol the beach.

Links are provided within the app for general information on public toilets at the seafront, cycling, dog exercise areas, and BBQ bylaws.

Project outputs

MHCLG is funding the first year of the app, so there are no costs for local authorities who wish to feature their locations on the app. For the Beach Operator / Owner there is a Pro version of the app where authorised users can update the status of each beach.

The Pro app enables councils to add beaches and key facilities, and full training and support with setting up beach(es) will be given. Contact samantha.richardson@coastaltourismacademy.co.uk to sign up for your area.

Local authorities may also be interested in further options to semi – and eventually, fully – automate the app, so they don’t have to place staff on the beaches to check and physically update the app.

Project timeline

August 2020

The project receives £34,000 of funding through the C-19 Challenge to add extra functionality to the BeachCheck smartphone application, which first launched in June 2020.

March 2021

The project receives £40,000 of follow-on funding through the Continuous Funding Model to continue their work. The project will use the funding to create a rebranded version of the app for national use, as well as start the development to enable other local authorities to add their beach locations and manually add busy data to the application.

The next phase of the project will also focus on recruitment of other local authorities to fully test the appetite for the app.

June 2021

MHCLG award £119,200 of additional funding to BCP Councils. This will enable them to develop a prototype national version of the app in partnership with NCTA and Xpertnest (app developer). The first cohort of partnering councils is confirmed and ongoing recruitment of further councils is planned.