Thanet beaches receive four Blue Flags and 12 Seaside Awards

Blue Flag for Botany Bay Photo John Horton

Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy has announced the winners of the prestigious Blue Flag and Seaside Awards for summer 2024.

Thanet has been awarded four Blue Flags – two less than last year- and 12 Seaside Awards – and increase of eight on 2023.

Walpole Bay Photo Daisy DelMonte

Walpole Bay and Louisa Bay have both been awarded Seaside Awards for the first time but Margate Main Sands and Stone Bay in Broadstairs have lost their Blue Flag, instead receiving a Seaside Award

Blue Flags and combined Seaside Awards

Minnis Bay Photo Dean Spinks

Minnis Bay, Birchington;

St. Mildred’s Bay, Westgate-on-Sea;

Botany Bay Broadstairs

Joss Bay in Broadstairs.

Seaside Awards:

Viking Bay Photo Deborah Davey

West Bay,


Westbrook Bay,

Margate Main Sands

Walpole Bay

Stone Bay,

Viking Bay

Louisa Bay

Ramsgate Main Sands.

Cllr Steve Albon, Cabinet Member for Cleansing and Coastal Services, said: “We’re very proud of our four Blue Flags and 12 Seaside Awards. Keeping up the high standards of our beaches requires a good deal of work, not just in the summer months, but all year round.

“Local people, as well as visitors, are drawn to Thanet’s fabulous beaches and they expect our 19 miles of coastline to be well-maintained and safe. We continue to strive to achieve the best possible standards for all our beaches.

“I would like to thank all of the council officers, partners, businesses, volunteers and residents, who work hard at keeping our beaches as clean and enjoyable as possible. These internationally-recognised awards would not be possible without their continued dedication.

“We are proud that whichever part of Thanet’s coastline you choose to visit you can find a well-managed award-winning beach.”

West Bay Photo Brian Whitehead

Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “These awards are a credit to the collective efforts of beach managers, volunteers, residents and businesses who have worked tirelessly to maintain, protect and improve some of our best-loved and most popular beaches and we’d like to take this moment to recognise and applaud them.

“Visitors to a beach flying a Blue Flag can be assured the beach will be clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well as international bathing water quality standards.

“The Blue Flag is the world’s most recognised award for beaches and marinas and, to qualify, each applicant must meet and maintain a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria.

“Seaside Awards are presented to the best beaches in England and celebrate the quality and diversity of our coastline.”


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.


  1. Great to see we have very clean beaches: until they are polluted by Southern Water. How is it these giant corporations – Southern ,Thames, and United Utilities who have just dumped in Windermere – are immune from prosecution?

  2. What a load of beach wash. Until the water is tested at least weekly at every bay and harbour in Thanet, TDC is still, without conscience or evidence inviting people to use our sea water to swim and play in without knowing the range of bacteria, viruses and chemical that could harm people, especially children.

    Complacency and ignorance rule at TDC!

      • Yes, between April and September weekly. I had forgotten. The harbours at least at Ramsgate aren’t tested. I have yet to find out who is doing the sampling perhaps you know?

        TDC in the 90’s used to put the water quality testing results on notice boards at each beach. TDC could devote its website landing page to this information.

        TDC could also have its own app with all the significant resident and visitor information. Starting with the weekly water update for each beach, water safety, coastal flora and fauna, toilets, cafe’s parking and more. A one stop stick of rock shop.

        TDC’s main website is far from user friendly

  3. Good job they didn’t judge Viking Bay after the Dua Lipa film crew visited Broadstairs.The Monday morning after there was litter everywhere and all up the side streets along with filthy unswept roads. Still the locals did the usual clear up.So TDC thanks to us you can take the credit.

  4. Loosing a blue flag is a disgrace, especially Margate main sands , the first beach that visitors visit by train. No mention of why ? Who are main polluters? And what’s being done to remedy the lose? What action being taken to seek recompense the lose? Afraid seaside award is just a fudge to cover up lose of blue flag , sorry

  5. Good job the award didn’t include all the streets other than Thanets seafronts.Just drove home from Tesco.Litter everywhere.
    There is a tube of decorators caulk in Ramsgate that I have driven past every Friday for three years.

  6. Surely a brown flag would be more appropriate.

    Perhaps we should celebrate the phenomena of thousands of litres of brown stuff being pumped out between Palm Bay and Botany Bay.

    It’s worth a visit to the pumping station to read the misleading information about the environment, which makes no reference to southern waters role in pollution and also witness how the sea is displaced by a massive cloud of dirt brown poo.

  7. What a shame, we do not have much to celebrate. The sea wter is more like a toilet bowl with diarrhea than a beautiful sea blue or green, Southern Water is destroying our beaches, the sea life is being harmed, and the environment is too.

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