Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Top English beaches win Blue Flag and Seaside Awards

Colwell Bay Image copyright Carl Ayling
Image caption The Isle of Wight received four Blue Flags and 13 Seaside Awards, including at Colwell Bay

Beaches around England have won recognition for their cleanliness and the quality of their water.

The Isle of Wight received the highest number of Keep Britain Tidy awards, taking home four Blue Flags and 13 Seaside Awards.

Thanet has the most Blue Flag beaches with seven. Poole, Torbay, Bournemouth, North Norfolk and Tendring also received four each.

In total, 168 awards were handed out to English beaches.

Image caption Cromer Beach is one of ten in the east of England which was given a Blue Flag

A total of 56 beaches have been awarded Blue Flags, 112 have received Seaside Awards, with 23 holding both awards.

The awards recognise "high standards of management, cleanliness and safety", according to Keep Britain Tidy.

The water quality criteria for Blue Flags has been judged against the European Bathing Water Directive which must meet "excellent standard", it added.

Sandbanks in Poole has held a Blue Flag since the awards scheme was launched in 1987.

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