Beach loses its Blue Flag

PA0233-32a'Brid Bank Holiday
PA0233-32a'Brid Bank Holiday

BRIDLINGTON’S North Beach has lost its Blue Flag status meaning there are now no beaches in the resort boasting the prestigious award.

South Beach has not had a Blue Flag since 2007 and did not make the grade again this year, but it is not all bad news as both North and South beaches have been awarded a Quality Coast Award (QCA).

They are joined by Barmston, Danes Dyke, Fraisthorpe, South Landing and Wilsthorpe who are among the 15 Yorkshire beaches awarded the QCA, which is given to well-managed beaches that narrowly miss out on a Blue Flag.

There is also good news for Hornsea, which has been awarded a Blue Flag for 2011 after losing the status last year.

It joins Withernsea, Filey Bay, Whitby West and Scarborough North as Yorkshire’s five Blue Flag resorts.

Darren Stevens, head of culture and information at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “I am delighted to hear that Hornsea and Withernsea have regained their Blue Flag status, it is an excellent accolade and will help boost tourism in the area.

“We are disappointed that Bridlington North narrowly missed out on retaining its Blue Flag but, while the water does not meet the very high standard needed for Blue Flag status, I would like to assure visitors that the water does meet the necessary requirements for bathing.

“Bridlington continues to offer some of the best beach facilities in the UK and we are looking to build on a fantastic Easter during the summer.”

The internationally recognised Blue Flag scheme is run by anti-litter charity Keep Britain Tidy and, to be awarded, beaches must comply with strict criteria including environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, safety and services.

Quality Coast Awards were introduced in 2007 to reward beaches in England that achieve the highest standards of beach management.

Phil Barton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “Traditional beach holidays in this country were always centred on our seaside resorts and we urge holiday-makers to rekindle their passion for Yorkshire’s fantastic coastline and resorts.

“Our beaches are wonderful places to visit, and that’s official!

“With 17 beaches in the region receiving five Blue Flags and 15 Quality Coast Awards, what better way to holiday in the area than to visit one of the local award-winning beaches?”

A pioneering project involving agencies such as DEFRA, Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency, Welcome To Yorkshire and East Riding Council, is currently trying to win eight Blue Flags along Yorkshire’s 50 mile coastline by 2015.

Despite Bridlington North losing its Blue Flag this year, the partnership is celebrating Yorkshire’s five Blue Flags and its QCA successes.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome To Yorkshire and chair of the partnership, said: “It’s now official: Yorkshire’s seaside resorts are among the best in the world!

“This is terrific news for Yorkshire and terrific news for tourism.”

Lee Pitcher, bathing water strategy manager at Yorkshire Water – which is investing £110m as part of the partnership to upgrade their waste water facilities on the east coast – said: “It’s a fantastic endorsement for Yorkshire to be able to say that it boasts some of the best beaches in the world, with the number of Blue Flags on the East Coast now rising to a commendable five. But we want more, and that’s why, as a partnership group, we’re committed to working together to further improve Yorkshire’s iconic coast with the ultimate aim of hopefully achieving one Blue Flag at each of the region’s eight coastal resorts.”

Nationally, there are 146 award-winning beaches this year – with 70 Blue Flags and 108 QCAs between them.