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Clean Beaches 2006-09-18

Posted by clype in Europe, Health, List, Science, Scotland, Statistics.

The Blue Flag has become the definitive international measure of beaches since it began back in 1987.

It is regarded as a highly effective monitoring system, because it measures everything from accessibility for disabled visitors through to the number of bins provided and litter left on the beach.

Water must be clean enough to have achieved the highest standard defined by European Law.

Award winners can fly a Blue Flag during the bathing season and must display their water quality and the facilities they provide on easy to read beach signs.

Useful Links:

The Scottish Blue Flag beaches of 2006:

The award season is now over, but many of these beaches are still managed over the winter months. Next years Blue Flag winners will be announced in June 2007. Please follow the links for further information about each beach.

  1. Aberdour Silver Sands
  2. Burntisland Beach
  3. Elie Harbour Sands
  4. St Andrews East Sands
  5. St Andrews West Sands
  6. Broughty Ferry
  7. Montrose Seafront

Beach litter pile at record high (2004)

Litter on Britain’s beaches reached a record high in 2003 and is up nearly 100 per cent on 10 years ago.

The Marine Conservation Society survey found rubbish at the coast has reached its highest level since Beachwatch monitoring began in 1993.

The society has called for a change in public attitudes to the problem and said legislation had little effect.

Sewage-related debris had also increased for the first time in five years, the survey showed.

Litter was up by almost a third on 2002 results and by 99 per cent compared with Beachwatch 1994.

More than 2 500 volunteers helped to clean and survey 244 beaches making up 135 kilometres (84 miles) of coastline over two days last September.

Beach visitors were found to be the biggest source of rubbish, contributing 36.7 per cent of all waste.

Fishing debris accounted for 14.6 per cent, sewage-related debris 7.8 per cent, and shipping litter 2.0 per cent.

Careless tourists

Andrea Crump, MCS litter projects co-ordinator, said:

‘Tourists will choose a beach because of its beautiful scenery and clean sands, then spoil the beach for other users by leaving their rubbish behind.

‘Every single piece of rubbish has an owner and every single person can make a difference by making sure they take it with them when they leave the beach.’

Minister for Rural Affairs and Local Environmental Quality Mr.Alun Michael said the government believed in taking action to address the issue.

The MCS wants the Government to introduce more effective laws to prevent littering by the public.

It also wants unnecessary plastic packaging reduced and a new plastic bag tax, successfully introduced in Ireland.

Plastic items accounted for more than half of the litter found, including 5 831 plastic bags — the equivalent of 43 bags for every kilometre of coastline surveyed.

Every year thousands of animals are thought to die because of being caught in, or eating, litter.

Plastic pest

  • Of the increased sewage-related debris, cotton buds made up 83 per cent of it.
  • In total, 17 981 cotton bud sticks were found, of which 56 per cent were discovered on one Scottish beach.

The MCS said this indicated that the message not to flush them, or anything plastic, down the toilet was not getting across.

The concentration of rubbish varied across the UK, with England having the highest volume.

The Channel Islands and Northern Ireland both recorded a decrease on 2002 levels.

Litter on UK beaches 2004:

England: 2 655 items/km
Wales: 2 455 items/km
Scotland: 1 536 items/km
Channel Islands: 1 125 items/km
Northern Ireland 807 items/km

Spain tops ‘Blue Flag’ beach table (2004)

Spanish beaches are the most environmentally healthy in Europe, according to the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) which has bestowed the much-coveted Blue Flag on 450 of the country’s beaches — more than any other participating country. Greece came second, with 378 of its beaches satisfying FEE judges, followed by France (262), Denmark (209), Italy (201), Portugal (163) and Turkey (151). The UK came eighth in the table with 123; Norway was worst of those judged, with only one of its beaches coming up to standard.

Leading the way within Spain itself was the Costa Blanca, which received 48 Blue Flag awards, ahead of the Costa Dorada (37) and Mallorca (33). Galicia had particular cause for celebration,with 21 beaches affected by the Prestige oil spill returning to Blue Flag quality. Only 30 of Spain’s 1,779 coastal bathing areas and 171 rivers are considered unfit for bathers by the FEE.

The FEE Blue Flag campaign was born in 1987 and now involves 25 countries across Europe and South Africa. Five countries in the Caribbean are in the pilot phase while Morocco, Canada and Poland are working on establishing the Blue Flag Campaign, and Chile, Malta, New Zealand and Russia are about to start its implementation.

Blue Flags are awarded based on compliance with 27 criteria spread over four categories: water quality; environmental education and information; environmental management; and safety and services. The awards are made for one season only; If any of the categories marked as ‘imperative’ (i.e., most of them) are not fulfilled during the bathing season, or if conditions change over the season, FEE withdraw the awards.

The total number of Blue Flags granted each country do not necessarily reflect that country�s overall level of coastal environmental health; countries with short coastlines are clearly at a disadvantage. For example, Bulgaria only received ten Blue Flags this year — but the country’s coastline is miniscule compared with many of its European counterparts, and the ten Bulgarian beaches granted Blue Flag status cover almost all the country’s primary tourist coastline, including the hotspots of Sunny Beach and Golden Sands.

Record number of clean beaches (2003)

A record number of UK beaches have been awarded Blue Flags for cleanliness.

The European award for well-managed beaches has been given to 105 beaches this year — almost twice as many as in 2000.

Among the new entries for 2003 are Cleethorpes, Colwyn Bay, Keynes Country Park and St Ives Porthminster.

Wales leads the way by region, with 33 beaches getting flags for clean water, management and visitor facilities.

The south-west of England has 22 clean beaches and the south-east 15, with eight first time winners.

Scotland has four — Aberdour, Burntisland, Elie and St Andrews — one down from last year, with Nairn Central missing out.

Northern Ireland has five — two down from last year. Its lack of progress was blamed on a lack of investment in cleaning up the water.

The north-west of England did not fare very well either, with no awards in the region which covers popular tourist beaches such as Blackpool and Morecambe.

Kiss-me-quick image

The Blue Flags are awarded by Encams, an environmental campaigns group which also organises Keep Britain Tidy.

Director of Encams Ms.Sue Nelson said the increase was ‘something to celebrate’ — and proof that the image of British beaches should be changing.

‘There’s still a bit of persistence of the kiss-me-quick hats and the chips and the dog poo on the beach, and actually in reality that’s changed quite a lot… there are many beautiful, beautiful beaches.’

The 105 figure is up 22 on last year’s record of 83 and is almost double the figure achieved in 2000.

Water Minister Mr.Elliot Morley said he was ‘delighted’ by the number of beaches being awarded, and put it down to national efforts to clean coastal waters.

‘The 600 million GBP investment programme in bathing water quality improvements across England & Wales to 2005 has resulted in the continued improvement of our bathing water quality in recent years,’ he said.

Lifeguards and litter

‘It is all the more pleasing that these efforts are being recognised by this prestigious international award scheme.’

The Blue Flag has become the definitive international measure of beaches since it began back in 1987 — when only 14 beaches won the award.

It measures everything from accessibility for disabled visitors through to the number of bins provided, lifeguards and litter left on the beach.

Water must be clean enough to have achieved the highest standard defined by European Law.

Award winners can fly a Blue Flag during the bathing season.

Wales: 33
Scotland: 4
N Ireland: 5
South-East: 15
North-West: 0

UK beaches pass clean test (2002)

A record number of beaches have been awarded Blue Flags for cleanliness in what is being hailed as a boost for British tourism.

A total of 83 beaches passed tough tests on clean water, management and visitor facilities.

Fourteen new beaches and 18 re-entries have made the grade this time.

The Blue Flags are awarded by ENCAMS, an environmental campaigns group which organises the Blue Flag programme and the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaign.

Chief executive Alan Woods said: ‘This is superb news for Britain and the two million people working in tourism, especially after the setbacks caused by 11 September and last year’s foot-and-mouth crisis.

‘It also builds on the results released recently by the Environment Agency that showed that 397 beaches in England have water that is clean enough to pass European Law.’

Among the new entries for 2002 are resorts such as Branksome Chine, Poole; Southend; and Tynemouth, Whitley Bay.

Re-entries include Skegness and Tenby.

Highest standards

But there is bad news for popular resorts Great Yarmouth and Bognor Regis, which lost their Blue Flags this year.

This year, Britain is also piloting an award for rural beaches on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education.

A total of 12, including seven in Wales have made the grade.

Blue Flags are also awarded to resorts with well managed marinas and 27 are in this year’s list.

Environment Minister Mr.Michael Meacher said:

‘The British seaside has never been as safe and clean as it is today, thanks to initiatives such as Blue Flag, which has given those who look after our beaches a target of excellence to aim for.


‘For many families these next few days will give them some quality time to spend together and what better place than the seaside.’

Blue flag beaches in the UK are, grouped by region:


  1. Aberdour, Silver Sands, Fife
  2. Burntisland, Fife
  3. Elie Harbour, Fife
  4. Nairn, Central, Highlands
  5. St Andrews, West Sands, Fife


  1. Aberporth, Ceredigion
  2. Abersoch, Gwynedd
  3. Amroth, Pembrokeshire
  4. Barmouth, Abermaw, Gwynedd
  5. Borth, Ceredigion
  6. Bracelet Bay, Swansea
  7. Caswell Bay, Swansea
  8. Langland Bay, Swansea
  9. Llanddona, Anglesey
  10. Llanddwyn (Newborough), Anglesey
  11. Lydstep, Pembrokeshire
  12. New Quay, Traeth yr Harbwr, Ceredigion
  13. Newgale, Pembrokeshire
  14. Pembrey Country Park, Cefn Sidan, Carmarthenshire
  15. Poppit Sands, Pembrokeshire
  16. Port Eynon, Swansea
  17. Porthcawl, Rest Bay, Bridgend
  18. Pwllheli, Marian y De, Gwynedd
  19. Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire
  20. St David’s, Whitesands, Pembrokeshire
  21. Tenby castle, Pembrokeshire
  22. Tenby north, Pembrokeshire
  23. Tenby south, Pembrokeshire
  24. Trearddur Bay, Anglesey
  25. Trearddur Bay, Porth Dafarch, Anglesey
  26. Tresaith, Ceredigion

Northern Ireland:

  1. Benone Strand, Magilligan, Londonderry
  2. Millisle Lagoon, County Down
  3. Portrush, East Strand, Antrim
  4. Portrush, West Strand, Londonderry
  5. Portstewart Strand, Londonderry
  6. Tyrella, County Down

South West:

  1. Bigbury-on-Sea, Devon
  2. Blackpool Sands, Devon
  3. Bournemouth Alum Chime, Dorset
  4. Bournemouth Durley Chine, Dorset
  5. Bournemouth Fishermans Walk, Dorset
  6. Challaborough, Devon
  7. Croyde Bay, Devon
  8. Dawlish Warren, Devon
  9. Polzeath, Cornwall
  10. Branksome Chine, Poole, Dorset
  11. Shore Road, Poole, Dorset
  12. Poole, Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset
  13. Swanage central, Dorset
  14. Torbay, Breakwater, Shoalstone, Devon
  15. Torbay, Corbyn Head (Torre Abbey), Devon
  16. Torbay, Goodrington, South Sands, Devon
  17. Torbay, Meadfoot, Devon
  18. Torbay, Oddicombe, Devon
  19. Torbay, Paignton Sands, Devon
  20. Torbay, Preston, Devon
  21. West Beachlands central, Hampshire
  22. Woolacombe, Devon

South East:

  1. Birchington, Minnis Bay, Kent
  2. Felixstowe, Suffolk
  3. Sheerness, Beach Street , Kent
  4. West Beachlands west, Hampshire
  5. West Wittering, West Sussex

East of England:

  1. Cromer, Norfolk
  2. Dovercourt Bay, Essex
  3. Lowestoft, South of Pier, Suffolk
  4. Sheringham, Norfolk
  5. Southend, Shoebury Common, Essex
  6. Southend, Shoeburyness East, Essex
  7. Southend, Three Shells, Essex
  8. Southwold Pier, Suffolk

East Midlands:

  1. Mablethorpe central, Lincolnshire
  2. Skegness, Tower Esplanade, Lincolnshire
  3. Sutton-on-Sea central, Lincolnshire

North East:

  1. Sandhaven, South Shields, Tyne and Wear
  2. Tynemouth, Cullercoats, Tyne and Wear
  3. Tynemouth, King Edwards Bay, Tyne and Wear
  4. Tynemouth, Longsands South, Tyne and Wear
  5. Whitburn North, Seaburn, Tyne and Wear
  6. Whitburn South, Roker, Tyne and Wear
  7. Whitley Bay south, Tyne and Wear

Blue Flag Beaches 2001

Fifty-five UK beaches have been awarded the 2001 European Blue Flag for clean water and sound environmental management.They are as follows:East Midlands — no change since 2000Sutton-on-Sea, LincolnshireEast of England (Seven beaches — two down on last year)

  1. Cromer, Norfolk
  2. Dovercourt, Essex (new entry)
  3. Felixstowe, South Suffolk
  4. Great Yarmouth Central, Norfolk
  5. Mundesley, Norfolk
  6. Sheringham, Norfolk
  7. Southwold Pier, Suffolk

Blue Flag winners from last year, not achieving awards this year are Lowestoft North (Suffolk), Lowestoft South (Suffolk), Great Yarmouth Gorleston (Norfolk)

Northern Ireland — Seven beaches, one down on last year

  1. Benone Strand, Londonderry
  2. Cranfield West, County Down
  3. Millisle Lagoon, County Down
  4. Portrush East Strand, Londonderry
  5. Portrush West Strand, Londonderry
  6. Portstewart Strand, Londonderry
  7. Tyrella, County Down

Blue Flag winner from last year, not achieving an award this year is Ballycastle (Antrim).

Scotland — Five beaches, two up on last year

  1. Aberdour Silver Sands, Fife
  2. Burntisland, Fife (new entry)
  3. Elie Harbour, Fife
  4. Nairn Central, Highlands (new entry)
  5. St Andrews West Sands, Fife

South East — Five beaches, no change from last year

  1. Birchington Minnis Bay, Kent (new entry)
  2. Bognor Regis East of the Pier, West Sussex (new entry)
  3. West Beachlands Central, Hampshire
  4. West Beachlands West, Hampshire
  5. West Wittering, West Sussex

Blue Flag winners from last year, not achieving awards this year are Herne Bay Central, (Kent) and Ramsgate Main Sands (Kent).

South West — 12 Beaches, three up on last year

  1. Blackpool Sands, Devon
  2. Dawlish Warren, Devon
  3. Bournemouth Alum Chine, Dorset (new entry)
  4. Bournemouth Durley, Dorset
  5. Bournemouth Fisherman’s Walk, Dorset
  6. Poole Sandbanks, Dorset
  7. Poole Shore Road, Dorset (new entry)
  8. Swanage Central, Dorset (new entry)
  9. Torbay Breakwater Shoalstone, Devon
  10. Torbay Meadfoot, Devon
  11. Torbay Oddicombe, Devon
  12. Woolacombe, North Devon

Wales — 18 beaches, four down on last year

  1. Aberporth, Ceredigion
  2. Barmouth Abermaw, Gwynedd
  3. Bracelet Bay, West Glamorgan
  4. Caswell Bay, West Glamorgan
  5. Llanddona, Isle of Anglesey
  6. Llanddwyn Newborough, Isle of Anglesey
  7. Lydstep, Pembrokeshire
  8. New Quay Traeth yr Harbwr, Ceredigion
  9. Newgale, Pembrokeshire
  10. Pembrey County Park, Carmarthenshire
  11. Penmaenmawr, Conway (new entry)
  12. Poppit Sands, Pembrokeshire
  13. Port Eynon, West Glamorgan
  14. Porthcawl Rest Bay, Bridgend
  15. St David’s Whitesands, Pembrokeshire
  16. Tenby Castle, Pembrokeshire
  17. Tenby South, Pembrokeshire
  18. Tresaith, Ceredigion

Blue Flag winners from last year not achieving awards this year are Aberystwyth North, (Ceridigion), Borth (Ceredigion), Pwllheli (Gwynedd); Amroth (Pembrokeshire); Langland Bay (West Glamorgan).



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