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Dozens of region's beaches awarded Blue Flags

Sandbanks, Dorset, has been awarded its 32nd consecutive Blue Flag Photo: PA

This year 15 beaches in the South East and dozens of others across the South have been awarded prestigious Blue Flags. Seventy-one Blue Flags were awarded across the UK and Northern Ireland in total - 18 more than last year.

Keep Britain Tidy, who award the Blue Flags, are delighted at the high number given this year.

We're incredibly pleased to have even more winners this year than last, proving the great dedication of the beach staff...it is a full-time commitment to create beaches worthy of the awards.

– Allison Ogden-Newton, Keep Britain Tidy

Blue Flags go to beaches which are clean, safe and meet high environmental and bathing water quality standards. They 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.

Margate beach has been awarded a Blue Flag Credit: PA

Local authorities with an emphasis on the environment are Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. The area now boasts a combined total of nine Blue Flags and runs a litter campaign.

Leave Only Footprints was devised in 2018 with the intention of encouraging beach-goers to clear up after their day at the seaside, putting rubbish in the bins provided.

It's grown in the last year and now 1575 volunteer hours have been spent on litter picks and beach cleans across Bournemouth and Poole in the last year.

Bournemouth beach was packed over the Easter bank holiday Credit: PA
1575
The number of hours spent on litter picks across Bournemouth and Poole in the last year.

A poll by 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.

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.

BLUE FLAG BEACHES:

  • 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 Sands
  • Stone Bay
  • Westbrook Bay
  • West Wittering Beach West Wittering Estate plc
  • Alum Chine
  • Durley Chine
  • Bournemouth Manor Steps
  • Durley Chine
  • Fisherman's Walk
  • Branksome Chine
  • Canford Cliffs
  • Shore Road
  • Sandbanks
  • Avon Beach
  • Friars Cliff Beach
  • Highcliffe Beach
  • Southbourne
  • Swanage Central
  • Weymouth Central