THE TOP-notch water quality of West Wittering Beach has been recognised with a national award.
The beach, owned by the West Wittering Estate, has been given a Blue Flag, the top award from Keep Britain Tidy.
The gongs honour the best and cleanest beaches in the UK and West Wittering is one of just 55 beaches to gain the flag.
Revealing the awards, a spokesman for the environmental charity said the beaches honoured have been rewarded for their fantastic facilities, cleanliness and ‘meeting the highest international standard of water quality’.
This year, the Blue Flag entrants had to meet an even stricter water quality standard to qualify for the globally-recognised award.
”Keep Britain Tidy campaigns to improve the quality of our local environment and we know that communities up and down the country love their beaches and understand what an asset they are for their towns’ economies,” said Richard McIlwain, operations director of the charity Keep Britain Tidy, which is responsible for the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards in England. “We also know that cleaner beaches can be a focal point for stronger communities. Holiday-makers and daytrippers want to visit clean, safe beaches and the sight of the Blue Flag or Seaside Award flying gives them the reassurance that they will.”
The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), a non-governmental and non-profit organisation, launched the Blue Flag programme in 1987 and Keep Britain Tidy administers the scheme in England. To be awarded a Blue Flag, beaches must comply with a number of criteria covering environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, safety and services.
This year, there have been a key change to the Blue Flag programme with the introduction of a tougher water quality standard, the new ‘Excellent’ standard required under the new EU Bathing Water Directive.
Blue Flag beaches now have to provide information to beach users advising where they can obtain real time information on discharges from nearby combined sewage overflows, if that discharge could temporarily affect the bathing water quality.