Date published: 16th May 2023

North Norfolk District Council has been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag award by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, for three of its beaches in 2023.

The three beaches along our coastline that have retained their Blue Flag status are Cromer, Sheringham and West Runton.

This year, due to the changing water quality along the North Norfolk coastline, East Runton, Sea Palling and Mundesley have dropped their previous Blue Flag status and have, for 2023, achieved Seaside Award status.

Seaside Award status is presented to some of the best beaches in England and celebrates ‘good’ water quality beaches and the diversity of our coastlines.

To qualify for either Blue Flag or Seaside Award status, a beach must meet a certain set of criteria set out by Keep Britain Tidy.

Among the criteria beaches are assessed against are:

  • Safety and services, such as first aid and 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.

Cllr. Tim Adams, Leader of North Norfolk District Council, said:

“We are delighted to retain the Blue Flag status at three wonderful locations with all of which have a diverse and thriving offer for visitors from near and afar.

“Whilst we aspire to achieve the return of the Blue Flags at Mundesley, Sea Palling and East Runton, the Seaside Award status achieved at these locations recognises that we still provide all other elements of Blue Flag status despite the water quality falling from Excellent to Good. These three beaches have public toilets, RNLI lifeguard cover, an enhanced cleaning regime and public information and they are still excellent beaches and destinations for visitors.

“We continue to work with Anglian Water and the Environment Agency to achieve the return of the Blue Flag status at those remaining beaches as soon as possible.”

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

“Visitors to 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.

“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.

“We’d therefore like to recognise and applaud all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve some of our best-loved and most popular beaches.”

Blue Flag and Seaside Award are international awards which are managed in Britain by Keep Britain Tidy on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education.

Find out more about the Blue Flag Award and the charity Keep Britain Tidy

Last updated: 16th May 2023