Photos of the beaches at Beer, Sidmouth, Seaton, Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton
Beer, Sidmouth, Seaton, Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton

Beer, Exmouth, Seaton, and Sidmouth Town beach have met the high standard required to be awarded the Blue Flag and Seaside Award, with Budleigh Salterton also receiving a Seaside Award.

Exmouth has now achieved Blue Flag status for six years in a row, while this is the fifth year for Sidmouth, the third for Seaton, and the second for Beer.

Councillor Geoff Jung, East Devon District Council's (EDDC) Portfolio Holder for Coast, Country and Environment, said:

"Our beaches are very much appreciated both by our residents and our visitors. Although they seem naturally beautiful, these locations actually require a lot of hard work by our staff, our partners, businesses, and dedicated volunteers. Retaining our Blue Flags is a credit to them and I would like to thank them for their continuing work."

Pete Blyth, EDDC's Beach Safety Officer, said:

“We are very pleased that our beaches have once again met this prestigious national benchmark, showing that they are safe and enjoyable for residents and visitors alike to enjoy."

Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive, said:

“These awards are a credit to the collective efforts of beach managers, volunteers, residents and businesses who have worked tirelessly to maintain, protect and improve some of our best-loved and most popular beaches and we’d like to take this moment to recognise and applaud them."

“Visitors to a beach flying a Blue Flag can be assured the beach will be clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well as international bathing water quality standards."

“The Blue Flag is the world’s most recognised award for beaches and marinas and, to qualify, each applicant must meet and maintain a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria."

“Seaside Awards are presented to the best beaches in England and celebrate the quality and diversity of our coastline.”

To find out more about the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards, and this year's winners, visit Keep Britain Tidy's website.

The Blue Flag and Seaside Awards are aimed at improving the quality of England’s coastline and promoting the country’s best beaches. Awards recognise and celebrate country’s best beaches as international Blue Flag reaches its 37th year.

Blue Flag is an international award managed by Keep Britain Tidy on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education. It is only presented to beaches with water which has achieved the highest classification as set by the EU Bathing Water Directive and has an environmental education programme, 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, such as first aid, lifeguards where necessary
  • 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.

Keep Britain Tidy is a leading environmental charity. They set the standard for the management of parks and beaches, inspire people to be litter-free, to waste less and live more sustainably. They run campaigns and programmes including the Great British Spring Clean, Eco-Schools, Love Parks Week, Buy Nothing New Month, Eco-Schools, the Green Flag Award for parks and green spaces, the Blue Flag/ Seaside Awards for beaches and the Green Key for sustainable tourism and hospitality.

This year 61 sites, including an inland water, were awarded both the Blue Flag and Seaside Award, while 13 sites, including a marina, received the Blue Flag only and 76 beaches received the Seaside Award only.

These awards are the only way for the public to be assured that beaches are delivering a safe, clean and well-managed space for them to enjoy.

Testing of bathing waters is carried out by the Environment Agency during the bathing season from 15 May – 30 September. The current classification and in season test results are available at the Environment Agency’s Swimfo website.

Our coast is a natural environment and water quality may vary, particularly after heavy rainfall when the advice from the World Health Organisation is to refrain from entering the water for at least 24 hours.