Twenty three beaches in Devon and Cornwall have achieved the internationally recognised Blue Flag award for 2023.
A total of 77 sites around the UK were awarded the Blue Flag award this year.
Oddicombe beach in Torbay has scooped the award every year since it was launched 36 years ago.
Torridge District Council looks after Westward Ho! and said the award from environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy was considered the “gold standard”.
Westward Ho! beach has won the award for more than 20 consecutive years.
Summerleaze beach in Cornwall and Beer beach in East Devon were first-time Blue Flag winners this year.
Keep Britain Tidy describes the Blue Flag Award as an “international award presented to well-managed beaches with excellent water quality and environmental education programmes”.
Sean Kearney, head of communities and place at Torridge District Council, said the beach and the burrows at Westward Ho! offered a “fantastic location for recreation and connecting with nature”.
Mr Kearney said: “We’re very lucky in Torridge to have such a fantastic beach right on our doorstep.
“Right next door Northam Burrows forms an integral part of North Devon’s Unesco Biosphere Reserve and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.”
To qualify for the Blue Flag award, beaches must satisfy standards in four categories with 33 individual targets covering environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, and safety and services.
Blue Flag beaches also have to run a minimum of five educational activities each year making people aware of the importance of looking after the natural environment.
Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive, Allison Ogden-Newton said: “Visitors to 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.”
Ms Ogden-Newton said the Blue Flag was the “world’s most recognised award for beaches and marinas”.
She added: “We’d therefore like to recognise and applaud all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve some of our best-loved and most popular beaches.
“The collective efforts of beach managers, volunteers, residents and businesses all contribute to the success of these sites in achieving the incredibly high standards demanded.”
Speaking about six Torbay beaches receiving the award, Carolyn Custerson, CEO of English Riviera BID Company Ltd, said: “These awards highlight the outstanding quality of the English Riviera as a destination and the exceptional visitor experience, they offer.
“As one of the most scenic coastlines in the UK, with 22 miles to explore by land or from the sea there’s plenty to discover and enjoy all year round. We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to the English Rivera this summer.”
Full list of Blue Flag 2023 winners in Devon and Cornwall
Carbis Bay – Cornwall
Crooklets – Cornwall
Gyllyngvase – Cornwall
Porthmeor – Cornwall
Polzeath – Cornwall
Porthtowan – Cornwall
Trevone Bay – Cornwall
Widemouth Bay – Cornwall
Summerleaze – Cornwall
Beer – Devon
Exmouth – Devon
Seaton – Devon
Sidmouth Town – Devon
Dawlish Warren – Teignbridge
Breakwater Beach – Torbay
Broadsands – Torbay
Meadfoot Beach – Torbay
Preston Sands – Torbay
Oddicombe – Torbay
Torre Abbey Sands – Torbay
Westward Ho! – Torridge
Croyde Bay – Devon
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