Live updates

Kent beaches awarded Blue Flag status

Kent has some of the cleanest beaches in the South East, according to a survey out today.

Nine beaches in the county have won Blue Flags and Seaside Awards this year.

Meanwhile, East Sussex won only two awards in the contest, organised by Keep Britain Tidy.

That's partly because big resorts like Brighton have pulled out of the scheme altogether, questioning its value. Some local authorites say to take part would cost them thousands of pounds. Malcolm Shaw reports.

Advertisement

Beach litter up: Includes Bulletproof vest, tv & dentures

Beach litter is on the increase according to the Marine Conservation Society

Volunteers involved in cleaning up Britain's beaches collected more than two hundred thousand items in just one weekend.

The figures have come in a report from the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) which organised the 'Beachwatch Big Weekend 2013' last September. A total of 224,405 items were collected.

Litter found on one of the region's beaches

It was the twentieth annual Beachwatch event organised by the organisation. The MCS said that beach litter was increasing and that behaviour needed to change. Lauren Eyles from the MCS said:

"It's coming in from the sea, being blown from the land or simply being dumped and dropped. After 20 years of campaigning it's disheartening that in 2013 we are seeing worse litter levels than ever.

"As well as half a TV, a French bulletproof vest and a pack of bacon, there was a brass candlestick, some plastic bird feet, a birdcage, a bath plug, half a canoe and a set of dentures,"

"Plastic is a real issue for our oceans and beaches. This year we also picked up lots of lids and caps. However, despite it being a really warm summer, we saw less crisp, sweets and lolly wrappers and fewer plastic bottles."

  1. Sarah Saunders (@SSaundersITV)

Beaches face 'unsuitable for swimming' blacklist

Some of the country's favourite beaches could be ruled unsuitable for swimming under new European water quality rules.

Walpole Bay Beach in Kent, Hastings Main Beach in Sussex and Southend Jubilee Beach in Essex are among those that have been earmarked 'at risk ' of failing to reach the higher water quality standards that come into force from 2015.

The authorities in Kent, they are looking at ways to avoid the 'unsafe for swimming' blacklist. Sarah Saunders reports.

Sharks in Whitstable? Surely not?

It's known as one of Kent's greatest assets, and there's plenty of it - 350 miles to be exact. We're talking about Kent's coastline.

This week, it's the focus of a special programme of events to teach adults and children how to protect our marine life for the future.

Andrea Thomas has been talking to Mark Harrison, from Timescapes Community Archaeology Group and Chris Drake, Coastal Officer at Kent County Council.

If you'd like to find out more about the events on offer this week click on this link www.kent.gov.uk/coastalweek

Advertisement

Load more updates