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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 June, 2003, 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
Fewer Blue Flags this year
Woolacombe beach
Woolacombe is one of the nine beaches which will fly the flag
The number of Devon beaches winning a Blue Flag Award this summer has dropped by more than a quarter.

Last year 13 beaches were awarded the flags, and this year that figure is nine.

The blue flags reward clean water, litter free beaches and facilities such as lifeguards, first aid and disabled access.

The total number given in the south West this year has risen by three to 22.

Bathing season

Torbay's Broadsands is flying the flag for the first time this year, but East Devon District Council decided not to enter any beaches.

The other local successful beaches are Bigbury on Sea, Blackpool Sands, Croyde Bay, Dawlish Warren, the breakwater in Torbay, Meadfoot, Oddicombe and Woolacombe.

They will be able to raise the blue flags during the bathing season this summer.

Challaborough, Preston and Corbyn Head are among those in Devon which have dropped the flag this time round.

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