Workers polish signs and clean bins after Hayling Island beach loses Blue Flag status

WORKERS have been seen clearing rubbish, polishing signs and even cleaning the outside of public bins after a beach was stripped of its top status.

By Neil Fatkin
Monday, 2nd September 2019, 11:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 7:56 pm

Beachlands at Hayling Island was one of just 15 beaches in the south east granted Blue Flag status but saw the award revoked after a recent inspection by Keep Britain Tidy.

The sight of the extreme cleaning measures followed a directive from the charity to ‘address non-compliance issues’ after it looked at the beach on Friday.

The decision has caused concern among local residents and holiday makers.

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Ian and Sharon Broom were surprised to hear that Beachlands has been stripped of its Blue Flag status.

Richard Platt, from Hayling Island, said: ‘Whatever the reason, something needs to be done quickly to rectify the situation so the Blue Flag is reinstated.’

Pensioner Jackie Edyvane, 66, added: ‘It’s very sad. It concerns me as when my grandchildren come to visit we regularly head down to the beach and you want to know it’s safe for them to play.’

Havant Borough Council and Keep Britain Tidy said the status was removed due to ‘areas of non-compliance with Blue Flag standards’ but refused to explain further. It is not connected to water quality.

On Tuesday one worker said: ‘It’s nothing to do with water quality or an issue with litter on the beach – it’s to do with signage.’

Rubbish has been collected from the Beachlands stretch of coastline.

The lack of clarity for the temporary removal of Blue Flag status has led to confusion and concern.

Tourist Ian Broom, who was at the beach yesterday, said: ‘I’m very surprised as I can’t see any rubbish on the beach. Yesterday there were a number of men in high visibility jackets cleaning the beach – maybe this was a response to concerns.’

Teresa Searl, 58, from Woking, added: ‘We come here regularly and it’s such a shame the beach has lost its Blue Flag. We did see one woman with a dog on the beach being asked to leave although I have never encountered any dog mess.’

The popular beauty spot is to be reinspected after seven days.

Jackie Edyvane, 66, is concerned about taking her grandchildren to the beach.

A spokesperson for the council said: ‘We are fully expecting to have the flag back up by this weekend.’

Workers cleaning the bins and signs at Beachlands at Hayling Island on September 3 after the beach lost its Blue Flag status. Picture: Neil Fatkin
Beachlands stretch of coastline has lost its Blue Flag status after 'non-compliance' with standards.