Awards recognise and celebrate country’s best beaches as international Blue Flag celebrates its 36th year.

Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy has today announced the winners of the prestigious Blue Flag and Seaside Awards for summer 2023, and among them are nine of Torbay’s beaches.

This year Breakwater Beach, Broadsands Beach, Meadfoot Beach, Oddicome Beach, Preston Sands and Torre Abbey Sands have met the high standard required to be awarded the Blue Flag Award. In addition, these beaches, along with Maidencombe Beach, Goodrington Beach, Paignton Beach and Ansteys Cove get to fly the Seaside Awards flag.

This remarkable recognition showcases the exceptional commitment to environmental sustainability, water quality, safety, and overall beach management in Torbay. It serves as a testament to the hard work and dedication of Tor Bay Harbour & Beach Authority in partnership with SWISCo in order to ensure Torbay’s beaches are properly maintained and cleaned to the highest standards.

Carolyn Custerson, Chief Executive Officer, English Riviera BID Company Ltd, said; “These awards highlight the outstanding quality of the English Riviera as a destination and the exceptional visitor experience, they offer. As one of the most scenic coastlines in the UK, with 22 miles to explore by land or from the sea there’s plenty to discover and enjoy all year round. We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to the English Rivera this summer.”

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.

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