A third of region’s cleanest beaches are in Southend

Published Wednesday, 15th May 2019

Carlie Crease and partner Tom Cook, hold blue flag up behind their children on Three Shells beach.

Southend-on-Sea has today received delivery of four coveted Blue Flags to fly above its beaches, meaning the borough now boasts a third of the awards in the East of England region.

The awards, made by Keep Britain Tidy, are only given to beaches that are clean and safe with great facilities. Regular water testing takes place throughout the year and strict guidelines have to be followed to achieve the standard.

East Beach, Shoebury Common and Thorpe Bay have all retained their Blue Flag Award status, with the popular Three Shells beach now adding to the success for the 2019 bathing season. This means that, of the 12 beaches in the East of England, a third can be found along Southend’s coastline.

Chalkwell and Jubilee Beach add to the four Blue Flag locations in attaining the 2019 Seaside Award also made by Keep Britain Tidy. The Seaside Award recognises beaches that are well-managed and maintained.

Carly Crease and her partner Tom Cook from Basildon decided to make the most of the good weather today (15 May) and take their children Ronnie and Charlie to Three Shells Beach.

Ms Crease said: “Obviously, coming from Basildon, this is our local beach. As a parent, it’s nice to know that the kids are playing in clean water. It’s reassuring. We come to Southend quite a lot so I’m just really pleased to know that the kids will be safe.”

Scott Dolling, director for culture, tourism and property, said: “Both awards are quality marks for our beaches and mean those visiting them can be sure that they are clean and safe and meet the highest environmental standards.

“Southend-on-Sea welcomes over 7 million visitors per year. With Blue Flag and Seaside Awards flying above our beaches, residents and visitors alike will know that they are among the best in the country.

“We want everyone to enjoy our beaches and help keep them award winning. We are all aware of the potential damage our waste causes to marine life and so we can all personally make a difference by disposing of rubbish responsibly when visiting the seaside.”

Jacqui Dallimore, chair of Southend Tourism Partnership, said: “Southend’s popularity relies upon clean and well-managed beaches to keep visitors wanting to come back time and again.

“Southend can now proudly boast four of the best beaches in the country, which is a testament to the huge combined effort by local businesses, the council and the many volunteers who give up their free time to keep our beaches in tip-top condition.”

Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said:  “The success of the 148 beaches in reaching the very high standards demanded by both awards is testament to all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve our beaches – from beach managers and volunteers to local people and businesses.

“When you enjoy a trip to a beach flying an international Blue Flag or Seaside Award, you know you are on one of the safest, cleanest and very best in the country.”

This year, environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy is presenting 71 international Blue Flags and 137 Seaside Awards.