May 21, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Cornwall’s stunning beaches awarded Blue Flag status

Blue flag

Nine of Cornwall’s stunning beaches have been awarded the coveted ‘Blue Flag’ status for 2022, with eight managed by Cornwall Council and the authority’s delivery partner, Cormac.

The Blue Flag is the worlds most recognised award for beaches and marinas with each applicant having to meet and maintain a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria.

A total of 77 UK beaches and one marina have been awarded the status for 2022.  The eight managed by Cornwall Council are:

  • Crooklets, Bude
  • Gyllyngvase, Falmouth
  • Porthmeor, St Ives
  • Polzeath
  • Porthtowan
  • Summerleaze, Bude
  • Porthmissen, Trevone Bay
  • Widemouth Bay

Cllr Martyn Alvey, Portfolio holder for Environment and Climate Change, said: “We are delighted that these beaches have been recognised for the high standards that are maintained and are grateful for the tenants who we work in partnership with to ensure that our beaches offer the very best experience for local communities and visitors to our unique landscape.”

In addition to the Blue Flag awards, the following beaches have received Seaside Awards:

  • Crackington Haven
  • Gyllyngvase, Falmouth
  • Great Western, Newquay
  • Polzeath
  • Porth
  • Porthtowan
  • Porthmeor, St Ives
  • Porthminster, St Ives
  • Portreath
  • Sennan Cove
  • Porthmissen, Trevone Bay
  • Widemouth Bay
  • Crooklets, Bude
  • Summerleaze, Bude

Both the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards schemes are aimed at improving the quality of England’s coastline and promoting the country’s best beaches.

Blue Flag is an international award managed by Keep Britain Tidy on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education. It is only presented to well-managed beaches with water quality defined as ‘excellent’ under the EU Bathing Water Directive and that offer environmental education programmes.

The Seaside Awards are presented to the best beaches in England and celebrate the quality and diversity of our coastline. Keep Britain Tidy say that these schemes are the best way for the public to be assured that beaches are delivering a safe, clean and well-managed space for them to enjoy.

Among the criteria beaches are assessed against are:

  • Safety and services, such as first aid, lifeguards where necessary
  • Environmental information including displaying details about local eco systems
  • Water quality – Blue Flag beaches must meet the ‘excellent’ water quality standard as set out in the EU bathing water directive and Seaside Award winners must meet the ‘sufficient’ standard.
  • Environmental management, including litter and waste.

Beyond these awards, Cornwall Council plays an active role in managing our beaches for public and environmental benefit. Whilst this includes water quality monitoring and safety provision, it must be stressed that the natural environment is dynamic and subject to changes that might impact how people should behave to remain safe at any given time. Please remember:

  • Water quality may vary, particularly after heavy rainfall when the advice from the World Health Organisation is to refrain from entering the water for 24 hours.
  • Coastal change may mean that paths become unsafe/eroded affecting beach access. Cornwall Council has major beach access protection schemes in development at Great Western, Newquay and Porthminster, St Ives.
  • The main lifeguard season runs from May to September. However, this does vary from beach to beach, and you should look out for RNLI flags and beach safety signs.
  • Stay safe in the sun – Spend time in the shade when the sun is strongest, between 11am and 3pm from March to October.
  • Float to Live – If you find yourself struggling in the water, or if you fall in unexpectedly, you should Float to Live. Just lean back and use your arms and legs to help you float. Wait until you can control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety.
  • Public Rescue Equipment is positioned on many of the beaches in Cornwall and along some stretches of the coastline. If you have concerns about a piece of public rescue equipment being damaged or missing, please report this to us on 0300 1234 202 or by email to countryside@cormacltd.co.uk.
  • For further beach safety tips visit: https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety

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