1. ITV Report

England’s best beaches given Blue Flag awards - is your local seaside on the list?

Seaburn beach in Sunderland, one of 71 beaches that have been awarded a Blue Flag. Credit: PA

More than 200 beaches around England’s coasts have received awards for being clean, safe and meeting high environmental standards.

Keep Britain Tidy has announced the winners of 71 Blue Flags and 137 Seaside Awards, an increase of 18 beaches on 2018.

The international Blue Flag and the UK Seaside Awards are quality marks for beaches and mean they are clean, safe and meet high environmental and bathing water quality standards, Keep Britain Tidy said.

Blue Flag beaches also have to run a minimum of five educational activities for the local community and visitors to make people aware of the importance of looking after the natural environment.

The announcement comes as polling for Keep Britain Tidy suggests many people feel a sense of guilt, or even “eco-anxiety”, when they go to a beach or other tourist destination and see plastic rubbish around.

Dog walkers on the beach at sunrise in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, which was awarded a Blue Flag Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA

About four fifths of the 2,003 people questioned agreed they would feel more relaxed going to a beach with recycling bins that is less likely to have litter.

Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “Visiting beaches with the Blue Flag or Seaside Award status means beach-goers can feel more relaxed in a setting that is environmentally considerate.

“We as individuals feel emotionally connected to the environment more than ever, with so many experiencing eco-anxiety.

“Keep Britain Tidy continues to push for more environmentally responsible beaches, where visitors needn’t feel this stress.

Saltburn-by-the-Sea beach in Cleveland. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA

“We’re incredibly pleased to have even more winners this year than last, proving the great dedication of the beach staff.

“From environmental education for the local community and ensuring responsible beach use, to cleaning regimes and an increasing number of recycling facilities, it is a full-time commitment to create beaches worthy of the awards.

“Thanks to the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards, visitors can be reassured their destination is cared for and they will be able to help maintain the high standards of these awards thanks to their environmental initiatives.”

Tynemouth Longsands in South Shields. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA

Blue Flag winners in the East Midlands:

  • Ingoldmells South
  • Central Beach, Mablethorpe
  • Central Beach, Skegness
  • Central Beach, Sutton on Sea
  • Cleethorpes Central

Blue Flag winners in the East of England:

  • Cromer
  • Sea Palling
  • Sheringham
  • Mundesley
  • East Runton
  • West Runton
  • East Beach Shoeburyness
  • Shoebury Common
  • Thorpe Bay
  • Three Shells Beach
  • Dovercourt Bay
  • Brightlingsea

Blue Flag winners in the North East:

  • Tynemouth Longsands
  • King Edwards Bay
  • Whitley Ba
  • Roker
  • Seaburn
  • Saltburn-by-the-Sea
Families walk on Saltburn Pier at Saltburn-by-the-Sea Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA

Blue Flag winners in the South East:

  • Brighton Central
  • Hove Lawns
  • Tankerton
  • Marina St Leonards
  • Hayling Island Beachlands
  • Sheerness Beach
  • Minster Leas
  • Minnis Bay
  • West Bay
  • St Mildreds
  • Botany Bay
  • Margate Main
  • Stone Bay
  • Westbrook Bay
  • West Wittering Beach

Blue Flag winners in Yorkshire and the Humber:

  • Whitby
Whitby beach in North Yorkshire Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

Blue Flag winners in the South West:

  • Blackpool Sands
  • Poole, Sandbanks Peninsula
  • Poole, Shore Road
  • Poole, Canford Cliffs
  • Poole, Branksome Chine
  • Alum Chine
  • Bournemouth Manor Steps
  • Durley Chine
  • Fisherman's Walk
  • Southbourne
  • Carbis Bay
  • Gyllyngvase
  • Porthmeor
  • Great Western
  • Porthtowan
  • Trevone Bay
  • Widemouth Bay
  • Sandy Bay
  • Exmouth East
  • Challaborough Bay
  • Croyde Bay
  • Swanage Central
  • Dawlish Warren
  • Teignmouth Town
  • Breakwater Beach
  • Broadsands
  • Meadfoot Beach
  • Oddicombe Beach
  • Preston Sands
  • Torre Abbey Sands
  • Westward Ho!
  • Weymouth Central