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Region’s beaches awarded Blue Flags, as shock figures show one in four children have never swum in the sea in Britain

PUBLISHED: 00:01 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:06 17 May 2018

People enjoying Sea Palling beach. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

People enjoying Sea Palling beach. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Shocking new figures show that more than one in four children has never swum in the sea in this country.

Lowestoft beach. Picture: supplied Lowestoft beach. Picture: supplied

Research from Keep Britain Tidy also reveals that a third of children have never been on holiday to the coast and nearly one in five has never even set foot on a British beach.

The news comes as the charity today announces 12 Blue Flags and 18 Seaside Awards in the East of England.

In total, 65 beaches around the country can now proudly fly a Blue Flag – an international award which means visitors can be sure they are clean and safe.

And 125 British beaches have received a Seaside Award this year – Keep Britain Tidy’s own award for beaches that meet the very highest standards for cleanliness and facilities.

A busy Cromer beach, 20th June, 1989. Picture: Archant Library A busy Cromer beach, 20th June, 1989. Picture: Archant Library

Visitors to award-winning beaches can be sure of a clean, safe beach with great facilities and water quality.

Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “Blue Flag leads the fight back for the Blue Planet. Our research shows that nearly two thirds of parents would prefer to visit beaches with Blue Flag or Seaside Award status, so growing the number of beaches with an award is vital to encourage more families to visit our beautiful coastline.

“Blue Flag and Seaside Awards set the standard for our beaches, including the war against the litter and plastic that does so much damage to our marine environment.

“Keep Britain Tidy leads the fight to create clean, plastic-free beaches. We are committed to creating a great environment on our doorstep for everyone to enjoy and offering a quality mark that shows everyone just how fantastic our beaches can be.

Cromer beach and town, September 1956. Picture: Archant Library Cromer beach and town, September 1956. Picture: Archant Library

“It’s brilliant to see so many beaches in the East of England and the rest of the country winning Blue Flag and Seaside Award status this year, thanks to dedication and hard work of beach staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards. Hopefully next year we’ll see an even greater number joining us as we drive up standards across the board.”

This year’s winners will be presented with their flags at a ceremony today on Cromer pier, hosted by North Norfolk District Council.

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