The Isle of Wight continues to sit top of the pile in the south east region for the number of beaches being awarded prestigious Blue Flag and Quality Coast Awards.
Keep Britain Tidy, which runs the Blue Flag scheme, has revealed its annual list, with the Isle of Wight out on its own in top spot with 14 award winning beaches.
This is some distance ahead of second place Thanet with 10, with Arun, Brighton & Hove and Canterbury joint third with three each.
The Island has retained the three Blue Flags it was awarded last year, with Shanklin, Sandown and Ventnor all receiving the award. The three beaches join Colwell, Cowes, East Cowes, Gurnard, Seagrove, Springvale, Totland and Yaverland in receiving Quality Coast Awards. The awards are only given if an area meets very strict criteria including high water quality and litter levels.
George Brown, IW Council Cabinet member responsible for tourism said “I welcome these results from Keep Britain Tidy.
“This confirms that the Isle of Wight is the number one resort in the south east for award winning beaches, with over four times as many winning beaches than areas like Brighton & Hove and Arun. This is very good news for the Island and I am sure potential visitors and holidaymakers will be very impressed by the sheer number of awards.”
Isle of Wight Council Deputy Director for Economy, Tourism and Leisure John Metcalfe thinks the awards are a real community effort. He said “These are tough economic times with several areas of service being reviewed by the council, yet we have still achieved these prestigious awards which is a major boost for the Island.
“A lot of people have played their part in this success, because although the council carries out beach cleaning on a regular basis, there are a great many residents and local groups who take pride in their beaches and nearby areas and also do their bit in helping to maintain them. The whole Island can take great pride in this recognition of the high quality of the environment that we all enjoy so much.”
Photo Credit: Isle of Wight Council