Thanet boasts the most beach blue flags in Kent

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In the three decades since, this number has soared to 47, including three award-winning marinas and one boat tour operator, meaning Wales has more Blue Flags per mile than anywhere else in the UK.

The awards act as a guarantee that South Tyneside has one of the best beaches in the world.

"When you see a Blue Flag raised at a beach or marina, you know that it's clean, sustainably managed and a safe place to swim".

The awards also acknowledge that Sandhaven has met the required European Union standards for water quality.

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The sandy beaches of Shanklin have been awarded a Seaside Award for 2018 by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

"Shanklin is delighted to be recognised by this prestigious award and thank all involved in achieving it - it is very much a team effort, and this recognition is a credit to all that have contributed to maintaining and improving the quality of our provision".

One of the main reasons parents chose not to take their children to the beach was because of cleanliness, 40 per cent were anxious about water quality, 38 per cent were put off by litter and 42 per cent were concerned about dog mess.

Bognor's East Beach has been given a Seaside Award, along with Littlehampton's Coastguards stretch and East Worthing beach.

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"These awards are recognition of their commitment and dedication to keeping our beaches looking their best and making sure they are clean and safe for both residents and visitors alike".

A third said they had never even been on holiday to the coast.

The City of Barrie Marina is one of nine marinas and 27 beaches in Canada to be Blue Flag certified this year.

Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: "Our research shows that almost two thirds of parents would prefer to visit beaches with Blue Flag or Seaside Award status".

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