Havant Borough Council is delighted to have retained Blue Flag status for another year for its beach known locally as Beachlands Central, Hayling Island.
The Blue Flag status recognises beaches for being safe, clean and having an excellent water quality. It also acknowledges the facilities that are available to visitors.
Councillor Clare Satchwell, Cabinet Lead for Planning, Hayling Seafront Strategy and Coastal Management, said: "It's great to see our beach retaining its award for another year. We are dedicated to keeping our beaches clean and ensuring the bathing water is of high quality, and it's good to see this hard work being acknowledged.
“These awards not only show that our beach is one of the cleanest and safest in the country, it also shows us as having a good standard of facilities, which gives peace of mind to both tourists and residents.
“We are starting to improve facilities, in line with our ambition for Hayling, this includes listening to our visitors and residents’ feedback, and acting on it. There is still more to do but I would like to express my gratitude to the many people that work behind the scenes.
"We also want to reach out to both residents and visitors to please play your own part in protecting our environment. Please use the bins provided for your litter or take it home with you."
Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, added: “The success of Central Beachlands 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 officers 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.”
Improvements include public toilet and shower facilities being open longer, the introduction of cheaper off-peak parking permits, Beach Check UK app, a dedicated team working extended hours to ensure bins are emptied, toilets are clean, and the beach is clear of litter.
In addition, a new electric vehicle will be introduced to assist staff in getting across the island. An environmentally friendly zero emissions electric tug and trailer will enable staff to carry full bins and litter bags to a new compactor skip that will also be introduced onto the island.
The compactor skip will allow the safe storage of rubbish during a weekend, reducing the current number of journeys required on and off the island during peak times, which will result in cutting the council’s and NSE carbon footprint.
Blue Flag is an international award managed by Keep Britain Tidy on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education. It is only presented to well-managed beaches with excellent water quality and environmental education programmes, while Seaside Awards are presented to the best beaches in England and celebrate the quality and diversity of our coastline.
Among the criteria beaches are assessed against are:
- Safety and services
- Environmental information including displaying details about local eco systems
- Water quality – Blue Flag beaches must meet the ‘excellent’ water quality standard as set out in the EU bathing water directive and Seaside Award winners must meet the 'sufficient’ standard.
- Environmental management, including litter and waste.
For more information about the Blue Flag, and what the credential are in gaining the precocious award visit www.blueflag.global/.