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Blue Flag awards for first time for Avon Beach, Friars Cliff and Highcliffe

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THREE Christchurch beaches have been awarded prestigious international Blue Flag awards for the first time – matching standards on the French Riviera or on the Spanish Costas.

Avon Beach, Friars Cliff and Highcliffe have all been singled out as worthy of the accolade which is given in recognition of beaches' high quality, management and environmental education programmes.

Only 80 beaches in the UK have reached Blue Flag standard. The trio have also been given a Seaside Award, which means they are among the best beaches in the UK.

Avon Beach was one of three Christchurch beaches to be given Blue Flag awards
Avon Beach was one of three Christchurch beaches to be given Blue Flag awards

It is the first time the trio have featured in the awards, run by charity Keep Britain Tidy, which are now in their 35th year.

This year BCP Council scooped a total of 12 prizes – more than any other authority in the UK.

Cllr Mohan Iyengar, BCP Council cabinet member for tourism, leisure and culture, said: “We’re so proud of the number of awards we’ve received so far this year.

"The team works incredibly hard to care for our beaches and there has been a phenomenal amount of work done behind the scenes to roll out this year’s summer readiness plans.

“We consider ourselves lucky to be the guardians of such a breath-taking stretch of coastline and it’s great to know that Keep Britain Tidy have given us their stamp of approval.”

Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive, Allison Ogden-Newton OBE added: “The success of Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole beaches in reaching the high standards demanded is testament to all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve our blue spaces – from beach managers and volunteers to local residents and businesses.

"The huge commitment needed to maintain marvellous beaches worthy of these awards cannot be underestimated.

“People who visit a beach flying a Blue Flag or Seaside Award can be assured the beach will be clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well as international bathing water quality standards.”

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