East Anglia's Beaches Retain Blue Flag

More English beaches will be able to fly the prestigious Blue Flag this summer.

A total of 60 beaches, four more than last year, have reached the international Blue Flag cleanliness standard, Keep Britain Tidy announced.

It added that England can now boast more Blue Flag beaches than Cyprus or Mexico, and now ranked in the global top 10 for Blue Flag beaches.

Norfolk and Suffolk now had seven Blue Flag beaches. Hunstanton is new to the list, with Cromer, Sea Palling, Sheringham, Mundesley, Southwold Pier and Lowestoft South Claremont Pier all retaining their award.

In addition, 111 English beaches have received the Seaside Award, Keep Britain Tidy's own seal of approval for beaches.

This year, two of the country's most popular areas for holidaymakers, Thanet in Kent and Cornwall, have achieved the most Blue Flags, with seven each.

Thanet beaches include Westgate's West Bay and St Mildred's Bay, while the Cornwall beaches with Blue Flags include Polzeath near Padstow, Widemouth Bay near Bude and Porthminster at St Ives.

Torbay in Devon, which includes Meadfoot Beach in Torquay and Paignton Beach, got the most Seaside Awards - 10 - with Cornwall getting nine.

Keep Britain Tidy's coastal award manager Paul Todd said: 'It is great to be able to celebrate another fantastic year for the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards.

"We are committed to improving the quality of the places where people live, work and holiday and these winners have proved their commitment to providing the best possible beaches for locals and visitors alike.''

 A Department for Environment spokeswoman said: ``We want our bathing water to be clean and safe for everyone to enjoy and it is great news that more beaches have received the prestigious Blue Flag Award this year.

"Water quality is better than it has ever been and we are working hard to make sure we meet tougher EU standards.''