Sidmouth beach wins first-ever Blue Flag Award thanks to community effort

Sidmouth beach is flying high after winning a Blue Flag for the first time and joining an elite of East Devon seaside towns scooping awards.

An army of community volunteers has been praised for their beach-clean efforts, earning Sidmouth the recognition.

Blue Flags will fly over Exmouth and Sidmouth while Budleigh Salterton and Seaton have scooped Seaside Awards, ranking them among the best beaches in the country.

The accolades have been announced by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, who gives the awards in recognition of achieving the highest standards of beach management in England, and to those suitable for bathing that meet the required standards for water quality.

This year Sidmouth won a Blue Flag for the first time and Exmouth retained the award for a second year running.

In East Devon Keep Britain Tidy awarded Budleigh a Seaside Award (non-bathing), Exmouth a Blue Flag and Seaside Award (resort), Seaton a Seaside Award (non-bathing) and Sidmouth Town Beach a Blue Flag and Seaside Award (resort).

Denise Bickley and Cathy Gardner, East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) Sidmouth Town representatives, said: “We are delighted that Sidmouth has been awarded its first Blue Flag this year.

“This is a great team effort and thanks must go to East Devon District Council staff, Sidmouth Town Council staff and councillors, Jurassic Paddle Sports, Sidmouth Lifeboat, as well as the army of volunteers who play a huge part in keeping the beach clean.

“Working together is an example of community spirit at its best.”

Councillor Geoff Jung, EDDC coast, country and environment portfolio holder, said: “It’s great that our beaches have again achieved the Blue Flag Awards.

This clearly demonstrates that East Devon District Council, through their team of officers and staff, their various partners and our many volunteers have again worked tremendously hard to gain these awards.

“The Blue Flag awards assess the beach and its surroundings for safety, services, environmental education and management, plus being litter free. At our bathing beaches it’s judged on our water quality too.

“On behalf of all our residents and our many visitors to our beaches, I would like to congratulate our hardworking team for the work that they have done.”

The awards are presented to beaches deemed clean and safe, meeting the highest environmental standards, as well as the tough international bathing water quality levels.

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