Fall in Blue Flag awards for England’s Beaches Flooding to blame as fewer beaches make the grade

08 May 2009

Results released by Keep Britain Tidy reveal that the number of Blue Flags awarded to English beaches this year has dropped to 71, 11 fewer than 2008.

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Keep Britain Tidy who run the internationally recognised Blue Flag scheme for England believe the drop in Blue Flags is largely due to flooding over the past couple of years affecting the water quality of assessed beaches. The 71 Blue Flags awarded are being seen as quite an achievement for English beaches.

Despite the decrease in Blue Flags, the current number of English Blue Flag beaches is still a significant increase on the 2002 total when only 45 English beaches met the grade.

The results also show an increase in the number of Quality Coast Awards (QCAs) given to the best beaches in England that are well managed but may not reach the Blue Flag standards for water quality.

Cornwall beaches on top

The results show Cornwall Council has the highest number of Blue Flag beaches with eight under its management, the highest number for any region. Both Bournemouth and Poole in Dorset, along with North Norfolk, have been awarded four Blue Flags.

A full list of Blue Flag beaches and Quality Coast Award beaches in England can be downloaded from the Keep Britain Tidy website.

Promoting English Beach holidays

With some holidaymakers opting for a ‘staycation’ this summer Phil Barton Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy is keen to promote England’s beach resorts and said: ‘Holidaying in this country is the perfect way of saving money and having a great time’. 

"Whether it's a question of variety, accessibility or value for money, enjoying our wonderful beaches is the ideal way to recharge your batteries. So instead of worrying about exchange rates, baggage handlers or forgetting passports, were urging people in England to make the most of their own magnificent coastline."

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