Leigh-on-sea and Southend beaches named amongst the best

May 16, 2024

Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy has today announced the winners of the prestigious Blue Flag and Seaside Awards for summer 2024, and Southend-on-Sea’s beaches have yet again been named as some of the best in the country.

The council applied for and has been awarded four Blue Flag Awards, the most awarded in the East of England. The four beaches are East Beach, Shoebury Common, Three Shells and Westcliff Bay. This means these four beaches all have excellent bathing water quality according to the strict international standards.

Seaside Awards have also been given to all our eight beaches: Chalkwell, Jubilee, Thorpe Bay, Three Shells, Shoebury Common, East Beach, Bell Wharf and Westcliff Bay. Thorpe Bay was previously awarded a Blue Flag in 2023, but the water quality is now graded as good rather than excellent following one testing sample out of the twenty taken across the 2023 bathing season showing higher bacterial levels.

Cllr Meg Davidson, cabinet member for environment, said: “I am pleased that our beaches have won these prestigious awards because it means residents and visitors to a beach flying a Blue Flag or Seaside Award can be assured the beach will be clean, safe and meet strict environmental standards. This announcement also confirms that all eight of our beaches have excellent or good levels of bathing water quality according to the strict international standards set.

“Despite these awards, we remain vigilant and continue to work with, and support the work that Anglian Water are doing on their bathing water quality investigations.

“Congratulations to everyone, including our wonderful pier and foreshore team, our contractors and volunteers who help to maintain Southend’s beaches all-year round to ensure they meet the stringent criteria required to be named amongst the best and cleanest beaches in the country.”

Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “These awards are a credit to the collective efforts of beach managers, volunteers, residents and businesses who have worked tirelessly to maintain, protect and improve some of our best-loved and most popular beaches and we’d like to take this moment to recognise and applaud them.

“Visitors to a beach flying a Blue Flag can be assured the beach will be clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well as international bathing water quality standards.

“The Blue Flag is the world’s most recognised award for beaches and marinas and, to qualify, each applicant must meet and maintain a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria.

“Seaside Awards are presented to the best beaches in England and celebrate the quality and diversity of our coastline.”

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