Thanet wins most Blue Flags in the UK

More Blue Flags, the sign of Europe's top coastal destinations, will be flying over Thanet's beaches this summer than any other council area in the UK.

 A total of nine Blue Flags have been awarded to the area. Minnis Bay, St. Mildred's Bay and West Bay in Westgate, Botany Bay and Joss Bay in Broadstairs and Ramsgate Main Sands have all kept the awards that they received last summer. Minnis Bay has held a Blue Flag since 2002, while West Bay has been awarded one for the sixth year running and St. Mildred's retains its flag for the fifth year running.

 Westbrook Bay, Margate Main Sands and Stone Bay in Broadstairs have also won back the accolade that they were last awarded in 2008.

 Blue Flags are only handed out to those beaches which have achieved the highest quality in water, facilities, safety, environmental education and management.

 Viking Bay received the Quality Coast Award for the fourth year running. To achieve this award, beaches have to meet strict criteria, including clean sands, being free of litter and dog fouling, have good access with good facilities and with guideline water quality.

 Director of Environmental Services, Mark Seed, said: "This year, Thanet has continued its enviable success with Blue Flag awards. We're delighted to have more Blue Flags this year than any other council area across the UK, which shows just how seriously we take the condition of our beautiful beaches. It's a great boost to our tourism and a wonderful way to start another summer season. Once again, the message is clear – if you want to find beautiful and unique sandy beaches, head to Thanet."

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