Keep Britain Tidy, an environmental charity, has revealed the winners of the prestigious Blue Flag and Seaside Awards for summer 2024 and you might recognise your local beach.

The north west which incorporates Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside featured in the awards with 10 of its beaches and one marina being recognised.

The awards recognise the quality of the sites, the way they’re managed and the facilities available for visitors.

Albert and Salthouse docks in Liverpool is the only Blue Flag-holding marina in the country.

The Blue Flag is the world’s most recognised award for beaches, marinas and inland bathing waters and, to qualify, each applicant must meet and maintain a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria. 

You can find out more about Keep Britain Tidy via the website.

10 north west beaches that met Seaside Award standards

This year, beaches across the region met the standards for a Seaside Award, these are:

  • Blackpool South - Blackpool Council 
  • Blackpool Central- Blackpool Council
  • Bispham - Blackpool Council
  • St Annes Pier - Fylde Borough Council
  • Morecambe South Beach - Lancaster City Council
  • North Beach – Morecambe - Lancaster City Council
  • Fleetwood Ferry Beach - Wyre Borough Council
  • Fleetwood Marine Beach - Wyre Borough Council
  • Rossall Beach - Wyre Borough Council
  • Jubilee Beach, Cleveleys - Wyre Borough Council

Rossall Beach and Fleetwood Ferry Beach are the only two beaches listed above that are non-bathing beaches.

What is a Blue Flag Beach and what are Seaside Awards?

The Blue Flag and Seaside Awards are aimed at improving the quality of England’s coastline and blue spaces 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 beaches, marinas and inland bathing waters with bathing water which has achieved the highest classification as set by the EU Bathing Water Directive and has an environmental education programme, while Seaside Awards are presented to the best beaches in England and celebrate the quality and diversity of our coastline. 

Sites are assessed against criteria, including:

  • Safety and services, such as first aid and 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 

Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “It’s wonderful to see the Seaside Award flag flying proudly over these 10 fantastic beaches as well as the region hosting the only marina to achieve a Blue Flag.

“These sites are a real asset to residents and visitors in the North West, and are free for all to enjoy, with visitors able to experience the same quality as destinations like Spain or Trinidad and Tobago without the environmental impact - or price tag - of flying. 

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“Seaside Awards are presented to the best beaches in England and celebrate the quality and diversity of our coastline. 

“The awards are a credit to the collective efforts of beach and site managers, volunteers, residents and businesses who have worked tirelessly to maintain, protect and improve some of our best-loved and most popular blue spaces and we’d like to take this moment to recognise and applaud them. 

“We should not underestimate the huge commitment needed to make these marvellous sites worthy of these awards.”