Devon’s best beaches awarded Blue Flag status for 2021

Fourteen beaches in Devon have been awarded Blue Flag status for 2021.

These include Exmouth, Sandy Bay and Sidmouth Town but not Budleigh Salterton! – Owl

Daniel Clark www.devonlive.com

The independently assessed seal of approval is awarded to beaches which achieve very high quality standards of excellent cleanliness, safe access and appropriate signage.

Blue Flag awards also look at the beaches which meet high environmental standards and tough international bathing water quality standards.

Winning beaches also had to run a minimum of five educational activities for the local community and visitors.

Across Devon, 14 beaches were given the prestigious award, the same number as in 2020.

The beaches in Devon given the blue flag award are:

  • Blackpool Sands
  • Sandy Bay (Exmouth)
  • Exmouth
  • Sidmouth Town
  • Challaborough Bay
  • Dawlish Warren
  • Teignmouth Town
  • Breakwater Beach (Brixham)
  • Broadsands (Paignton)
  • Meadfoot Beach
  • Oddicombe Beach
  • Preston Sands
  • Torre Abbey Sands
  • Westward Ho!

The Blue Flag is widely considered to be the gold standard for beaches and as such is internationally recognised. While most people are aware that the certification guarantees the quality of the bathing water this is only part of the criteria on which beaches are judged.

To qualify to fly the Blue Flag the beach must satisfy standards in four categories and against 33 individual targets covering environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, safety and services.

Cllr Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin, lead member for community, culture and leisure for Torridge District Council, said: “We’re very lucky in Torridge to have such a fantastic beach at Westward Ho! that has consistently achieved the Blue Flag award for over 18 years in a row. It also backs onto Northam Burrows which is another important asset for rare Wildlife and Plant species.

“A better awareness of plastic issues in our marine environment has only increased interest in beaches that meet the strict criteria for cleanliness and the partnerships with community group initiatives are something we can all be proud of.”

Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “This year, more than ever, we are going to be relying on our country’s beautiful beaches to escape for a much-needed break after all the stresses and strains of the past year.

“Whether it’s camping in Cornwall, renting a cottage in North Yorkshire or simply having a day out at the seaside in Sussex, a fantastic beach is an essential part of a holiday for so many of us.

“From environmental education for the local community and ensuring responsible beach use, to cleaning regimes and an increasing number of recycling facilities, it is a full-time commitment to create beaches worthy of these awards.

“As we all plan our 2021 holidays much closer to home, thanks to the Blue Flag and Seaside Award those choosing to holiday at a destination with an award-winning beach can be assured it will be clean and safe and meet the highest standards for water quality and management.”

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