Keep Britain Tidy: Keep it UK – Flag Fliers Say

WIGAN, England, June 3/PRNewswire/ —
Want to avoid rip-off taxi fares to and from airports, hours waiting for delayed planes or a hefty bill for parking at the airport?

Then spend your holiday here and enjoy a sizzling summer by the sea at one of the 119 British beaches awarded Blue Flags today (June 3rd).

Included in this year’s haul are seaside favourites Scarborough North, Poole Sandbanks and Eastbourne Pier to Wish Tower. There are also 11 new entries, like holiday-hotspot Prestatyn Central; dolphin-haven Broughty Ferry (Dundee) and one of our newest resorts Jubilee Beach in Southend – only built in 2002! And by visiting these and other Blue Flag beaches, award-organisers ENCAMS reckon you will not only be helping to further our coast’s renaissance, you’ll be defending jobs and slashing our GBP17 billion tourism deficit.

“There has been a real element of snobbery surrounding our beaches, with some people suggesting they simply don’t match up to their continental counterparts” said Alan Woods, Chief Executive of ENCAMS. “Yet this kiss-me-quick view belongs in the past. With excellent weather forecast for this summer, this is the ideal time for many families to re-discover the seaside and for our coast to compete on the world stage for visitors.”

The state of our beaches has improved dramatically since Britain entered the awards scheme in 1987. Back then, just a dozen passed the tests on water quality, facilities (including health and safety provision and disabled access) and beach cleanliness, required to fly the Blue Flag.

But it isn’t all good news this year. While there are five re-entries, including Westgate in Kent and Challaborough in Devon, nineteen beaches have bowed out from 2004 – including Great Yarmouth Central, Margate Main Sands and our only inland award winner, Keynes Country Park in Gloucestershire. With recent research showing that visitors are looking for assurances of cleanliness and safety, Alan Woods asked all beach managers and water companies to make an even greater effort over the coming months to keep our sands and seawater clean. However, his main message was to the public, who he said had a “duty to their nation” to back and care for its coast.

“We have done much over the last few years to help our coastline survive. Now we can make it thrive by visiting, respecting and promoting our beaches.

In this hectic world where families have so little time together, by enjoying a healthy, relaxing day at the beach, we may even be doing something to improve our society!”

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