East Devon beaches given prestigious blue flag award

The spending plan includes maintaining local facilities, supporting local groups and events, and boosting tourism.

Sidmouth beach has won blue flag status - Credit: Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth’s status as a resort with a clean and safe beach is one of its ‘hooks’ to attract more visitors, according to tourism and economy leaders. 

The town’s beach was awarded blue flag status by Keep Britain Tidy, recognising how well the beach is managed and how clean the water is. 

Sidmouth also won the Seaside Award for the quality of the beach and the facilities on offer for visitors. 

Louise Cole, chairman of Sidmouth Town Council’s tourism and economy working group, said the International Blue Flag is an ‘important award’. 

She added: “We are lucky to have such a unique beautiful coastline and beaches on our doorstep. 

“This quality mark conveyed by the Blue Flag award reassures us and is something to celebrate, particularly as Sidmouth has developed in the last five years an amazing array of water-based activities.  

“Whether a day on the beach, rockpoolimg, sea swimming or paddleboarding the beach is our playground. One that needs careful conservation and preservation for the future.” 

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Deirdre Hounsom, also a member of the working group, said: “I’m really happy that Sidmouth has this Blue Flag for its beach, as it’s one of the hooks we hang our tourism offer on – the fact that the beach is so safe and so clean.  

"It’s great that we have so many people helping to look after our beach with the regular litter-picking sessions, and I’d like to ask everyone to keep our beach clean by not leaving any waste behind when they visit.” 

Exmouth and Seaton were also awarded Blue Flag status and the Seaside Award by Keep Britain Tidy. Budleigh Salterton and Beer also won the Seaside Award. 

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

“The huge commitment needed to maintain marvellous beaches worthy of these awards cannot be underestimated.  

“People who visit a beach flying a Blue Flag or Seaside Award can be assured the beach will be clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well as international bathing water quality standards.”