Cornwall’s beaches have received a record number of Blue Flag and Seaside Awards.
Keep Britain Tidy, the organisation responsible for the awards in the UK, has announced that 15 beaches in Cornwall have been awarded either one, or both accolades.
The iconic Blue Flag, an international quality mark for beaches, is widely considered the gold standard and reassures visitors and residents that Cornwall’s beaches are clean, safe and recommended, boosting tourism, business and helping inspire return visits.
Thanks to the hard work of local beach champions, Cornwall Council and sponsors Sharp’s Brewery and Visit Cornwall, eight beautiful beaches across Cornwall have received the Blue Flag award.
Crooklets near Bude has been awarded the Blue Flag and for the first time in over ten years, after losing out in the last awards in 2019, Polzeath has regained its Blue Flag status.
Blue Flags will also fly high at Widemouth near Bude, Trevone near Padstow, Great Western in Newquay, Porthtowan, Porthmeor in St Ives, and Gyllyngvase in Falmouth.
Those eight beaches, plus seven more in Cornwall, also received Seaside Awards, which recognise beaches in England that achieve the highest standards of beach management and water quality.
The newest addition to the award-winning Cornish beach team is Portreath which will now be flying its Seaside Award flag. The other beaches to receive Seaside Awards are Summerleaze in Bude, Porth near Newquay, Perranporth, Porthminster in St Ives, and Sennen Cove, as well as all those that received Blue Flag status.
Blue Flags and Seaside Award flags, which are only given to coastal destinations that boast the highest qualities of water, facilities, safety, Keep Clean programmes, environmental education and management, will be hoisted up on May 15th.
Sharp’s Brewery and Visit Cornwall provided the funding for Cornwall Council to make the applications for the awards.
Peter Marsh, Service Director for Environment at Cornwall Council, said: “It is fantastic to see that a record number of beaches in Cornwall have received these awards.
“Everyone who lives in Cornwall knows that our beaches are among the best in the world and this proves it.
“These awards are a testament to communities across Cornwall who volunteer their time to pick up litter from beaches and our teams who work so hard to keep Cornwall clean.
“They should all be rightly proud of these awards. I would also like to thank Sharp’s Brewery for once again playing a key role in sponsoring the Blue Flag and Seaside applications, and Visit Cornwall which also sponsored the award applications.”
North Cornwall-based Sharp’s Brewery has provided £57,000 towards the costs of Blue Flag and Seaside award applications over the last six years.
James Nicholls, Marketing Controller 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, over the last six years with our support now totalling £57,000.
“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.”
Malcolm Bell, Chief Executive of Visit Cornwall, said: “Visit Cornwall is delighted to have been able to help secure these awards.
“Cornwall is a wonderful place to live and a wonderful place to visit. These awards reflect the quality of our beaches and we hope both locals and visitors alike will make the most of these exceptional beaches.”
The Blue Flag programme was 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