Beaches in Norfolk and Suffolk named among best in world

Cromer beach. Picture: David Bale

Cromer beach. Picture: David Bale - Credit: Archant

Six beaches in Norfolk have been named among the best in the world - after they were awarded the prestigious Blue Flag status.

And a further two beaches in Norfolk and three in Suffolk have scooped a Seaside Award, because they meet high standards for cleanliness and facilities.

Cromer, Sea Palling, Sheringham, Mundesley, East Runton and West Runton have been handed the Blue Flag accolade by the charity Keep Britain Tidy.

The charity has bestowed the Seaside Award on beaches at Hunstanton and Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk and at Lowestoft South, Southwold and Kessingland in Suffolk.

The international Blue Flag and the UK Seaside Awards mean those visiting them can be sure that they are clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well as the tough international bathing water quality standards.

Alongside that, Blue Flag beaches have to run a minimum of five educational activities for the local community and visitors to make people aware of the importance of looking after the natural environment.

The awards come as research from Keep Britain Tidy reveals that 74pc of people under the age of 35 say they are 'triggered' with guilt when they go to the beach and see plastic litter.

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Two thirds said they experience eco-anxiety when seeing tourist destinations littered with plastic and no sustainable facilities to dispose of it and 78pc would avoid visiting a beach without a Blue Flag or Seaside Award for that reason.

Keep Britain Tidy's chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: "Visiting beaches with the Blue Flag or Seaside Award status means beach-goers can feel more relaxed in a setting that is environmentally considerate.

"We as individuals feel emotionally connected to the environment more than ever, with so many experiencing eco-anxiety. Keep Britain Tidy continues to push for more environmentally responsible beaches, where visitors needn't feel this stress.

"We're incredibly pleased to have even more winners this year than last, proving the great dedication of the beach staff.

"From environmental education for the local community and ensuring responsible beach use, to cleaning regimes and an increasing number of recycling facilities, it is a full-time commitment to create beaches worthy of the awards.

"Thanks to the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards, visitors can be reassured their destination is cared for and they will be able to help maintain the high standards of these awards thanks to their environmental initiatives."

This year's winners will be presented with their flags at a ceremony today (Wednesday) at The Quarterdeck in Margate, Kent.