22 May 2024

Beaches awarded Blue Flags

Hornsea and Withernsea have both been awarded Blue Flag status in the internationally recognised scheme by environmental organisation Keep Britain Tidy.

Three other beaches – Bridlington North, South Landing and Wilsthorpe – have all earned Seaside Awards in the annual initiative naming the UK’s top beaches.

This is the fourth year running that Hornsea has been awarded a Blue Flag, and the second year in a row for Withernsea.

As part of the awards, Hornsea, Withernsea and South Landing all recorded “excellent” water quality results, with Bridlington North and Wilsthorpe recording “good” results.

Each year Keep Britain Tidy honours those UK beaches that meet high standards in quality, cleanliness, safety and the range of facilities they have for the public.

Each Riding Council’s coastal services team, which manages the area’s beaches, achieved all five awards it applied for.

Councillor Barbara Jefferson, the council’s cabinet member for heritage and coastal, said: “It is fantastic news that Hornsea and Withernsea can fly Blue Flags this year and that three more of our beaches have been given Seaside Awards.

“They have all been recognised for meeting high standards and this shows that we have excellent beaches in the East Riding for residents and visitors to enjoy.

“This will no doubt help to attract extra tourists to our area this season.”

To achieve a Blue Flag, a beach must meet more than 30 strict criteria including meeting water quality standards, provide environmental education, be properly managed, be clean, provide litter bins and toilets, allow no dogs during the bathing season, must have lifeguards, life-saving and first aid equipment, and buildings and beach equipment must be maintained.

To win a Seaside Award, a beach needs to meet a similar, but smaller number of guidelines, including being properly managed, complying with water quality standards, being clean, having litter bins and toilets, now allowing dogs during the bathing season, and having lifeguards or life-saving equipment.

Bridlington South beach was not eligible for a beach award this year due to bathing water quality but continues to comply with all other Seaside Award criteria.

The Yorkshire Bathing Water Partnership – made up of the Environment Agency, East Riding Council, North Yorkshire Council and Yorkshire Water – is working on a project to improve bathing water standards at Bridlington South.

Last year Bridlington South recorded “excellent” bathing water, but the four-year average used means the beach remained ‘poor’ in the 2024 classification.

The project, funded by East Riding Council, the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water, involved taking more frequent water samples last summer, studying the results to highlight causes for the water quality, and then taking actions to improve it.