Cornish beaches among world’s best as 15 fly iconic flags

Beach champions across Cornwall are celebrating today as 15 Cornish beaches hoist world-renowned Blue Flag, Seaside awards or both accolades into their skies above. 

Thanks to the hard work of local beach champions, Cornwall Council and sponsors Sharp’s Brewery, 22 iconic Blue Flags and Seaside award flags will fly over the following beaches from today (May 15, 2019).

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Blue Flag: Gyllyngvase (Falmouth), Porthmeor (St Ives), Great Western (Newquay), Porthtowan, Trevone Bay, Widemouth Bay, Carbis Bay (self-funded).

Seaside award: Crackington Haven, Gyllyngvase (Falmouth), Great Western (Newquay), Perranporth, Polzeath, Porth (Newquay), Porthtowan, Porthmeor (St Ives), Porthminster (St Ives), Sennen Cove, Trevone Bay, Widemouth Bay, Crooklets (Bude), Summerleaze (Bude), Carbis Bay (self-funded).

The newest addition to the award-winning Cornish beach team is Crackington Haven, set between Bude and Boscastle. The beach with its stony foreshore and golden sand will now be flying its Seaside award throughout the next year.

Keep Britain Tidy, the organisation responsible for the awards in the UK, today (May 15, 2019) announced that 15 beaches in Cornwall have been awarded either one or both of the status marks. 

These include 15 Seaside awards and seven Blue Flags, making Cornwall a great destination for beach goers and ocean adventurers to visit all year round. Some beaches have received both Blue Flag and Seaside awards to achieve this number.

For the fifth year running, Sharp’s sponsorship has provided funding for Cornwall Council to make the applications for the awards and the team continues to work with the communities who deliver environmental initiatives to make the achievement possible.

Carbis Bay, which has been awarded both a Seaside and Blue Flag award, is the only Cornish beach that has self-funded its own application through Carbis Bay Hotel.  

The iconic Blue Flag, an international quality mark for beaches, reassures visitors and residents that Cornwall’s beaches are clean, safe and recommended, boosting tourism, business and helping inspire return visits.

Blue Flags and Seaside awards are only awarded to coastal destinations that boast the highest qualities of water, facilities, safety, Keep Clean programmes, environmental education and management.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, Sue James, said: “We are thrilled to once again have so many Cornish beaches represented amongst the world’s best. The 22 Blue Flag and Seaside awards are an important symbol of what we who live here already know – that Cornish beaches are in fact world-class.

“I want to thank everyone across the Cornish community who selflessly and tirelessly dedicate their time to looking after our beautiful beaches. Our local staff and many volunteers who raise awareness about harmful marine litter and organise beach cleans play a really valuable role in helping us to protect and maintain Cornwall’s reputation as a great place to live and a wonderful place to visit. They should all be rightly proud of these awards. I also want to thank Sharp’s Brewery for once again playing a key role in sponsoring the Blue Flag and Seaside applications.”

Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “It is fantastic news for Cornwall’s holiday-makers, overseas visitors, residents and businesses that we have been able to award an amazing 22 flags to the county’s beaches this year. The support from Sharp’s Brewery is invaluable in supporting both Cornwall’s beaches and volunteers, and the Blue Flag more widely – which improves the quality of England’s coastline and promotes our best beaches.

“The success of Cornwall’s beaches in reaching the very high standards of both awards is a real testament to all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve our beaches – from beach managers and volunteers to local people and businesses.”  

North Cornwall-based Sharp’s Brewery has provided over £42,000 towards the costs of Blue Flag and Seaside award applications over the last five years.

James Nicholls, Senior Brand Manager at Sharp’s Brewery said: "With Sharp’s Brewery being based in Rock, North Cornwall, the coastline and our beaches are deeply important to us. We are delighted to have supported our hard working beach champions and local volunteers, as well as Cornwall Council, and BeachCare (part of Keep Britain Tidy) over the last five years with our support now totalling in excess of £42,000.

 “The team at Sharp’s fully appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into gaining, and keeping, so many iconic Cornish Blue Flag and Seaside Awards. Thanks and congratulations to all of these 15 beaches and to all involved behind the scenes, from us all at Sharp’s Brewery.”

The Blue Flag programme launched in 1987, and is owned internationally by The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), a non-governmental and non-profit organisation. Keep Britain Tidy administers the scheme in England. To be awarded a Blue Flag, beaches must comply with a number of criteria covering environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, safety and services.

The Seaside Award is run by Keep Britain Tidy and recognises and rewards beaches in England that achieve the highest standards of beach management and, in the case of bathing beaches, meet the required standards for water quality.