Thanet has received seven blue flags and three seaside awards from Keep Britain Tidy.
The Blue Flag and Seaside Awards are aimed at improving the quality of England’s coastline and promoting England’s best beaches. Blue Flag is an international award managed by Keep Britain Tidy on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education.
Thanet’s Blue Flag beaches
St Mildred’s Bay
Margate Main Sands
Thanet’s Seaside Awards
Ramsgate Main Sands
Viking Bay, Broadstairs
The isle has gained two Blue Flags compared to last year’s tally with Botany Bay and Joss Bay regaining their Blue Flag status once more.
Cllr Reece Pugh, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Thanet District Council said: “We’re thrilled to once again receive so many awards for our beautiful beaches. This is especially true this year as two more of our beaches, Joss Bay and Botany Bay, have been awarded the prestigious International Blue Flag by environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy.
“The district received every award that we applied for and we should be very proud of our seven International Blue Flags and three Seaside Awards. In 2021, we were awarded five Blue Flags and five Seaside Awards.
“These internationally recognised awards can only be achieved with the continued dedication and hard work of council officers, partners, businesses, volunteers and residents, who all play a role in helping to keep our beaches as clean and enjoyable as possible.
“Work takes place all year round to maintain our 19 miles of coastline to the high standards that our residents and visitors have come to expect. We are proud that wherever you visit on Thanet’s coastline you can find an award-winning beach that is well managed, clean and safe.”
Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “The success of these beaches in reaching the very high standards demanded is testament to all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve our blue spaces – from beach managers and volunteers to local residents and businesses. The huge commitment needed to maintain marvellous beaches worthy of these awards cannot be underestimated.
“People who visit a beach flying a Blue Flag or Seaside Award can be assured the beach will be clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well as international bathing water quality standards.”
To be awarded a Blue Flag, beaches must comply with a number of criteria covering environmental education and information, excellent water quality, environmental management, safety and services. For a Seaside Award beaches must achieve the highest standards of management and, in the case of bathing beaches, meet the required standards for water quality.
Bathing Water Quality Legislation
Every year, from May to September, the Environment Agency monitors the water quality of more than 400 beaches throughout the UK.
These beaches, known as ‘designated bathing water’ are those used by a large number of bathers and are required to meet strict European guidelines on water quality.
There are 13 designated bathing waters in the Thanet district.
The way bathing water quality is measured changed in 2015 with the implementation of more stringent new standards.
The Environment Agency now uses four years’ worth of data to assess water quality and classify it as either ‘Excellent’, ‘Good’, ‘Sufficient’ or ‘Poor’.
This change is the result of a revision to the EU Bathing Water Directive and means that achieving the new water quality standards are almost twice as tough as before.