Beaches across the South East given seal of approval with prestigious Blue Flag award
Seventeen beaches across the South East have been been presented with an award recognising the quality of the beach, the way it is managed and the facilities it offers to visitors.
The Blue Flag is an international award and this year 80 beaches have met the high standard required. This year it celebrates its 35th anniversary. Sandbanks in Poole has scooped the award for every one of those years, making it one of the best beaches in the world.
Three others: Avon Beach, Highcliffe and Friars Cliff in the Bournemouth, Christchurch andPoole area, achieved the accolade for the first time.
128 beaches are proudly displaying Seaside Awards, including 57 beaches that have received both Blue Flag and Seaside Awards.
Dymchurch beach in Kent won a Seaside Award for the first time this year.
Keep Britain Tidy's Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: "The success of these beaches in reaching the very high standards demanded is testament to all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve our blue spaces - from beach managers andvolunteers to local residents and businesses.
"The huge commitment needed to maintain marvellous beaches worthy of these awards cannot be underestimated.
"People who visit a beach flying a Blue Flag or Seaside Award can be assured the beach will be clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well as internationalbathing water quality standards."
All 17 winners across the South East:
Brighton Central Hove Lawns
Marina St Leonards
Hayling island Beachlands
Margate Main Sands*
- An asterisk means the beach is NOT a designated bathing water - it is a non-bathing
The Blue Flag and Seaside Awards are aimed at improving the quality of England's coastlineand promoting the country's best beaches.
Blue Flag is an international award managed by Keep Britain Tidy on behalf of theFoundation for Environmental Education.
It is only presented to well-managed beaches with excellent water quality and environmental education programmes, while Seaside Awards are presented to the best beaches in England and celebrate the quality and diversity of our coastline.
Among the criteria beaches are assessed against are:
Safety and services, such as first aid, lifeguards where necessary
Environmental information including displaying details about local eco systems
Water quality - Blue Flag beaches must meet the 'excellent' water quality standardas set out in the EU bathing water directive and Seaside Award winners must meetthe sufficient standard.
Environmental management, including litter and waste