Flags fly over award-winning beaches

North Tyneside has once again scooped the most awards for its beautiful beaches than any other area in the North East.

Prestigious Blue Flags will once again fly high over the coastline at Tynemouth Longsands (south), King Edward’s Bay and Whitley Bay (south).

An international award for beach quality, Blue Flags recognise clean water, litter-free sands and top-notch facilities.

And in further recognition of the clean beaches and visitor facilities, all three, as well as Cullercoats Bay, have also received a Seaside Award.

This means the borough holds more beach awards than any other area in the region.

Speaking about the news, North Tyneside Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “We are delighted that our beaches have once again been recognised in such a prestigious way.

“What’s even more impressive is that this is the 21st year in a row we have received an accolade for our coastline.

“The awards prove that our beaches are amongst the very best in Europe and show visitors that they can rely on our coastline as being a wonderful, attractive and clean place for all to enjoy.

“Our coastline attracts thousands of people each year, helping to bring tourism worth £243 million to the local economy, which is why the awards are so important.

“We expect visitor numbers to grow even more as we continue to invest heavily to regenerate Whitley Bay seafront, making it an attractive and appealing destination for everyone.”

The awards are administered by Keep Britain Tidy and beaches must fulfil strict requirements, including tough bathing water quality, enforcement of dog byelaws, regular cleaning and a lifeguard service, to achieve the accolades.

The news of the awards also comes as the council introduces a team of seasonal beach wardens to watch over the coastline.

Starting in June, their job is to keep the coastline clean, safe and well-maintained and also help to enforce the beach bylaws.

The team will also work closely with the police, RNLI, local businesses and residents to help deal with any potential problems or incidents.

Cllr John Stirling, cabinet member for Environment, said: “The seasonal wardens have made a big difference since they were introduced by Mayor Redfearn in 2014 and they have been very well received by residents, visitors and local business owners.

“With thousands of people visiting our beautiful beaches each year, we must make sure they remain unspoilt and continue to be a wonderful place that people want to come to.”

Visitors are also reminded that the beach dog ban is also now in place and runs until September 30. During this time, dogs are not allowed on Longsands (south), Whitley Bay (south), Cullercoats Bay and King Edward’s Bay.