15 May, 2024

Walpole Bay and Louisa Bay join list as Thanet receives 4 Blue Flags and 12 Seaside Awards

Thanet’s beaches have been awarded four Blue Flags and twelve Seaside Awards following the announcement of this year’s Keep Britain Tidy Blue Flag and Seaside Awards.

Having met the high standards required, environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy has once again given Thanet’s key beaches the internationally recognised stamp of approval.

The number of awarded beaches now totals twelve, up from 10 last year, as Walpole Bay in Cliftonville and Louisa Bay in Broadstairs have both been awarded Seaside Awards for the first time, in 2024. 

  • Blue Flags and combined Seaside Awards have been awarded for Minnis Bay, Birchington; St. Mildred’s Bay, Westgate-on-Sea; and Botany Bay and Joss Bay in Broadstairs. 
  • Seaside Awards are awarded to West Bay, Westgate-on-Sea; Westbrook Bay, Margate Main Sands and Walpole Bay, in Margate; Stone Bay, Viking Bay and Louisa Bay in Broadstairs; and Ramsgate Main Sands.

Cllr Steve Albon, Cabinet Member for Cleansing and Coastal Services, said: “We’re very proud of our four Blue Flags and twelve Seaside Awards. Keeping up the high standards of our beaches requires a good deal of work, not just in the summer months, but all year round. Local people, as well as visitors, are drawn to Thanet’s fabulous beaches and they expect our 19 miles of coastline to be well-maintained and safe. We continue to strive to achieve the best possible standards for all our beaches. 

“I would like to thank all of the council officers, partners, businesses, volunteers and residents, who work hard at keeping our beaches as clean and enjoyable as possible. These internationally-recognised awards would not be possible without their continued dedication.

“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: “These awards are a credit to the collective efforts of beach managers, volunteers, residents and businesses who have worked tirelessly to maintain, protect and improve some of our best-loved and most popular beaches and we’d like to take this moment to recognise and applaud them. 

“Visitors to a beach flying a Blue Flag 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.

“Seaside Awards are presented to the best beaches in England and celebrate the quality and diversity of our coastline.”

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 beaches with water which has achieved the highest classification as set by the EU Bathing Water Directive and has an environmental education programme, 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.

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