Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole keeping the Blue Flags flying

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole beaches have been awarded more blue flags than any other UK authority in this year’s awards.

Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy announced its iconic Blue Flags and Seaside Awards to the UK’s very best beaches, and Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole have been confirmed with 23 awards in total.

Earlier this year, according to TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice awards, Bournemouth beach was ranked among the best 25 beaches in the world and rated as having the fifth best beach in Europe. With these latest accolades Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole continue to boast a combined total of 9 Blue Flags and 14 Seaside Awards.

The area’s Blue Flag beaches are Alum Chine, Branksome Chine, Canford Cliffs, Durley Chine, Fisherman’s Walk, Sandbanks, Shore Road, Southbourne and Manor Steps. On top of this, all nine Blue Flag locations have the added honour of receiving Seaside Awards, as well as the beaches at Bournemouth, Boscombe, Friars Cliff, Avon and Highcliffe.

Councillor Mohan Iyengar, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said: “We’re so proud of the number of awards we’ve received so far this year. The team works incredibly hard to care for our beaches and there has been a phenomenal amount of work done behind the scenes to roll out this year’s summer readiness plans. We consider ourselves lucky to be the guardians of such a breath-taking stretch of coastline and it’s great to know that Keep Britain Tidy have given us their stamp of approval.”

With the May bank holidays heralding the start of the season across the resort, BCP Council has already launched its £3.5million seasonal response summer readiness plan – preparing the resort for this summer’s much anticipated bumper summer. Plans include a multi-agency command control centre (MACC) in operation until the end of September, overseeing the seasonal plan’s day and evening operations, responding in real time to issues that arise when the resort experiences an increase in visitor numbers. An additional 75 seafront staff on hand to welcome people, keep the beaches clean and safe, and provide a greater security presence; and 400 triple-sized bins installed along the seafront to deal with waste, with more daily collections taking place.

Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “Last year, due to the pandemic, we did not have the opportunity to celebrate all the great award-winning beaches around the coast so this year we are delighted to have even more winners than we did in 2019, thanks to the incredible work of the teams around the country that make our beaches clean and safe for us all to enjoy.

“As we all plan our 2021 holidays much closer to home, thanks to the Blue Flag and Seaside Award those choosing to holiday at a destination with an award-winning beach can be assured it will be clean and safe and meet the highest standards for water quality and management.”