Mixed success for region’s beaches

Two top beaches drop out of Blue Flag list.

WESTWARD HO! beach and Tunnels Beaches at Ilfracombe have retained their Blue Flag awards for quality, but two others have lost theirs.

Croyde Bay and Woolacombe beaches are missing from the list of successful beaches published yesterday (Tuesday) by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

Westward Ho! also won a Quality Coast award to go with its flag, the only beach in the region to receive the accolade. It is the ninth year in a row that it has been awarded the coveted flag.

Councillor Roger Johnson, the Lead member of Torridge District Council for the Economy and Tourism, said: “To receive this nationwide award of excellence shows Westward Ho! is clean, safe, easily accessible and a great place to come on holiday. It is a wonderful stretch of sand which attracts many, many visitors and locals each year.”

The award is also designed to recognise the diversity of the nation’s coastline, as well as boost domestic tourist numbers, and Westward Ho! has met stringent criteria in the following categories: Environmental education and information; Environmental management; Safety and Services; and Water quality

Councillor Roger Tisdale, the ward member for Westward Ho! said: “I’m delighted that Westward Ho! has once again received the Blue Flag Award recognising all the hard work done by everybody committed to making our beach a venue of which we can all be proud.

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“To have received this award nine years in a row is a considerable achievement and I hope will encourage people to come and experience our jewel in the crown for themselves.”

There was disappointment further along the coast as Croyde Bay and Woolacombe Sands, two premier surfing venues, both fell out of the Blue Flag rankings.

It was only last year that Croyde, owned by Parkdean Holidays, regained a Blue Flag for the first time since 2007 when it failed due to run-off from fields getting into a stream which runs onto the beach.

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