FROM today, 15 beaches in the south east of England will be able to fly a Blue Flag – an international award that tells the public it’s one of the best beaches in the world.
And two of those beaches are based nearby – with Hayling Island beachlands and West Wittering Beach, near Chichester, making the cut for 2018.
This will be the 27th year that the beachlands at Hayling Island have been given the esteemed status.
Two Brighton beaches got recognition - Brighton Central and Hove Lawns, while six beaches in the town of Thanet have been awarded Blue Flag status: Minnis Bay, West Bay, St Mildreds, Botany Bay, Margate Main Sands and Stone Bay.
The other beaches to win awards are: Tankerton in Canterbury, Marina St Leonards in Hastings, and Sheerness Beach, Minster Leas and Leysdown Beach in Swale, Kent.
Blue Flag beaches have to run a minimum of five educational activities for the local community and visitors to make people aware of the importance of looking after the natural environment.
Keep Britain Tidy has today announced the 15 Blue Flag beaches along with 21 Seaside Awards in the south east.
The Seaside Award is Keep Britain Tidy’s own award for beaches that meet the very highest standards for cleanliness and facilities.
Beaches in the south east to win this award are: Worthing Beach, Bognor Regis East, Littlehampton Coastguards and West Wittering.
In total across the country, a total of 125 have received the Seaside Award, and 65 British beaches can now fly the internationally esteemed Blue Flag – with 26 announced in the south west, four in the east midlands, 12 in the east of England, six in the north east, one in the north west and one in Yorkshire.
The news comes as research from Keep Britain Tidy reveals that 27 per cent of children have never been swimming in the sea in this country.
Thirty-three per cent have never been on holiday to the coast, and almost 18 per cent have never even set foot on a British beach.
However, two thirds of parents say that knowing a beach has been awarded Blue Flag or Seaside Award status gives them confidence that a beach is a clean, safe place for their children to play, with 15 per cent saying they will only go to an award-winning beach.