With summer finally arriving, visitors to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole can be confident about the beach facilities – particularly those in Sandbanks – as the area has been awarded Blue Flags by Keep Britain Tidy.
Beaches across the region have received 26 awards in total, and once again, have been awarded more blue flags – 12 – than any other authority in this year’s prestigious awards. These international awards are given out in recognition of the quality of the beach, the way it is managed, the facilities it offers and the standard of its environmental education programmes.
Sandbanks in Poole is one of only two beaches in the whole country to have scooped the award every year for 35 years, making it one of the best beaches in the world and three other beaches – Avon Beach, Highcliffe and Friars Cliff have achieved the accolade for the first time.
The area’s Blue Flag beaches are Alum Chine, Avon Beach, Branksome Chine, Canford Cliffs, Durley Chine, Fisherman’s Walk, Friars Cliff, Highcliffe, Sandbanks, Shore Road, Southbourne and Manor Steps. On top of this, all 12 Blue Flag locations have the added honour of receiving Seaside Awards, as well as the beaches at Bournemouth and Boscombe.
Cllr Mohan Iyengar, portfolio holder for Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said: “We’re so proud of the number of awards we’ve received so far this year. The team works incredibly hard to care for our beaches and there has been a phenomenal amount of work done behind the scenes to roll out this year’s summer readiness plans. We consider ourselves lucky to be the guardians of such a breath-taking stretch of coastline and it’s great to know that Keep Britain Tidy have given us their stamp of approval.”
Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive, Allison Ogden-Newton said: “The success of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole beaches in reaching the high standards demanded is testament to all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve our blue spaces – from beach managers and volunteers 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 international bathing water quality standards.”
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