146 English beaches win top awards

Keep Britain Tidy has announced that beaches across England are maintaining their levels of cleanliness, with 146 coastal destinations in the country winning awards this year.

The prestigious Blue Flag honour was won by 70 English beaches in 2011, one less than last year.

This is a great improvement on 2002, when only 45 English beaches received the honour.

Quality Coast Awards were won by 108 English beaches this year.

Keep Britain Tidy said that 32 beaches were given both Blue Flag and Quality Coast Awards in 2011.

The highest number of clean beaches is in Torbay in Devon, with six receiving the Blue Flag, while five beaches in Southend-on-Sea in Essex won the honour.

Most English regions were able to maintain their levels of cleanliness, although the number of Blue Flags received by south-east England dropped from 17 to 10.

Phil Barton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, which is responsible for the Blue Flag scheme in England, said: "Traditional beach holidays in this country were always centred on our seaside resorts and we urge holidaymakers to rekindle their passion for our wonderful coastline and quality resorts.

"The continuing high standards of our beaches are testament to the hard work carried out by beach managers throughout the year in order to provide clean and safe beaches for everyone to enjoy, whether you live on the coast or are a visitor."

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