Life's a beach on award-winning South Shields sands

The City of Barrie Marina is one of nine marinas in Canada which were certified with a Blue Flag this year

Portfolio Holder for the Coastal Economy, Coun Steve Kirk, said: "We are delighted to have retained the Blue Flags at all our beaches".

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.

Now Keep Britain Tidy is hoping to get more kids in the water with their Blue Flag and UK Seaside Awards.

"Year of the Sea 2018 is the flawless time to celebrate the success of the past 30 years of the Blue Flag programme - and gives us a fantastic opportunity to make the most the fact that we have more Blue Flag beaches per mile than anywhere else in Britain".

Two Sunderland beaches have each won two coveted awards marking their status among the best in the country. This three mile stretch of sea and sand is a highlight of many people's summer holiday. Shanklin, Seagrove and Springvale beaches have today (Thursday) been awarded Seaside Awards, but Sandown does not appear on the list.

Keep Britain Tidy's chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton added: "Blue Flag leads the fightback for the Blue Planet".

Research from Keep Britain Tidy has revealed cleanliness of the beach is the number one cause for concern for families visiting beached in England- with 40% worrying about unclean water, 38% put off by litter and two in five (42%) saying they're put off by dog mess. Our research shows that almost two thirds (65 per cent) of parents would prefer to visit beaches with Blue Flag or Seaside Award status, so growing the number of beaches with an award is vital to encourage more families to visit our handsome coastline.

The winners were announced by Keep Wales Tidy on a year which marks the 30th anniversary of the Blue Flag.

Canatara Beach will fly a Blue Flag again for the fifth straight year, as one of 27 beaches and nine marinas across Canada given the prestigious eco-certification administered in Canada by Environmental Defence.

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