Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy has today (Tuesday 16 May 2023) announced the winners of the prestigious Blue Flag and Seaside Awards for summer 2023. Thanet has met the high standard required, and has been awarded six Blue Flags and four Seaside Awards.
- Blue Flags have been awarded for Minnis Bay; St. Mildred’s Bay; Margate Main Sands; Botany Bay; Joss Bay and Stone Bay.
- Seaside Awards have been awarded for West Bay; Westbrook Bay; Viking Bay and Ramsgate Main Sands.
Mike Humber, Director of Environment at Thanet District Council, said: “We’re very proud of our six Blue Flags and four Seaside Awards. Work takes place all year round to maintain our 19 miles of coastline to the high standards that our residents and visitors have come to expect, and we will continue to strive to achieve the best possible standards for our beaches.
“These internationally-recognised awards can only be achieved with the continued dedication and hard work of council officers, partners, businesses, volunteers and residents, who all play a role in helping to keep our beaches as clean and enjoyable as possible.
“We are proud that whichever part of Thanet’s coastline you choose to visit you can find a well-managed, award-winning beach.”
Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “Visitors to 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 international bathing water quality standards.
“The Blue Flag is the world’s most recognised award for beaches and marinas and, to qualify, each applicant must meet and maintain a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria.
“We’d therefore like to recognise and applaud all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve some of our best-loved and most popular beaches. The collective efforts of beach managers, volunteers, residents and businesses all contribute to the success of these sites in achieving the incredibly high standards demanded.”
The Blue Flag and Seaside Awards are aimed at improving the quality of England’s coastline and promoting the country’s best beaches. Blue Flag is an international award managed by Keep Britain Tidy on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education. It is only presented to well-managed beaches with water quality defined as ‘excellent’ under the EU Bathing Water Directive 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 standard as set out in the EU bathing water directive and Seaside Award winners must meet the ‘sufficient’ standard.
- Environmental management, including litter and waste.
For more information on Thanet’s beaches and bays, go to Visit Thanet’s website.
Photo credits: Tourism at Thanet District Council