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Last Updated: Friday, 3 June, 2005, 08:51 GMT 09:51 UK
Tourists urged to back UK beaches
Eastbourne
The weather can't be guaranteed but at least it's clean
Tourists have been asked to stay in the UK and enjoy its beaches as the latest batch of Blue Flag awards were given out to British resorts.

Campaign group Encams bestowed Blue Flags on 119 beaches rewarded for clean water and sand, health and safety provision, and disabled access.

There were 11 new winners, including Prestatyn Central, Broughty Ferry in Dundee and Southend's Jubilee Beach.

There were five re-entries to the list, but 19 former winners fell short.

Only the north-west of England had no beaches on the winners' list, with Ainsdale dropping out.

Established award winners include Scarborough North, Poole-Sandbanks and Eastbourne Pier.

Beach 'snobbery'

Alan Woods, chief executive of Encams, said: "There has been a real element of snobbery surrounding our beaches, with some people suggesting they simply don't match up to their continental counterparts.

"Yet this kiss-me-quick view belongs in the past.

"Many of our resorts now offer fantastic facilities and a wide range of attractions and activities for everyone to enjoy.

SOME BLUE FLAG CRITERIA
Dogs banned from beaches
Beaches are cleaned daily
Drinking water is provided
Also safe for disabled visitors
Public phones if no lifeguards
Public warning of pollution

"With excellent weather forecast for this summer, this is the ideal time for many families to rediscover the seaside and for our coast to compete on the world stage for visitors."

The beaches failing to make the mark after receiving Blue Flags recently included Great Yarmouth Central, Margate Main Sands and inland winner Keynes Country Park in Gloucestershire.

The distinctive Blue Flags are awarded to resort beaches in Europe, South Africa and the Caribbean which meet the highest standards on a wide range of criteria.

Encams is also the body behind the Seaside Awards which are for UK beaches only. These cover slightly different criteria and are awarded to rural as well as resort beaches.


SEE ALSO:
Clean beaches win coveted award
29 Apr 05 |  England
Litter charity picks top beaches
29 Apr 05 |  Northern Ireland
Beaches earn best quality flags
24 Apr 05 |  Somerset


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