Cripes! Just when you think there's no news about, ten stories come along at once! Well, one anyway. Following the granting of several gongs from the Marine Conservation Society's latest Good Beach Guide a couple of weeks ago, those nice chaps at Encams (Keep Britain Tidy in old money) have today awarded Thanet a record ten Blue Flags for the Ile's beaches, including a welcome return of the Blue Flag for our lovely sands here in the Millionaires' Playground. That's a whopping eighth of all Blue Flags in England! Here's what Encams say in their press release:
We should be smitten with our own beaches – and mate with Margate (Surely Ramsgate - Ed.) not Majorca. Thanet, which takes in Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs, today basks in the glory of ten Blue Flags. This is the best performance anywhere in the country for a decade.
Hurrah! Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Phil Barton added:
We keep being told that our love affair with the seaside has been on the rocks. But as far as we are concerned England’s beach resorts go from strength to strength. Now is the time for the English to rekindle passion for traditional beach holidays in this country. Our beaches are fabulous places to visit and that’s official. Blue Flag is only awarded to beaches that have good access, top notch facilities, are litter free and have clean sea-water. We are challenging people to avoid overseas air travel and be kind to the environment by holidaying at home.
Clearly Phil didn't visit Viking Bay the other weekend when it was strewn with more than 100 bottles, empty drink cans and dirty nappies (eeurgh!), but I think we'll, er, gloss over that. And as for the precise location of the putting green they list as one of the attractions on Ramsgate Sands, lord only knows! Still, if it means more people holidaying at home, and fewer knackered old jumbos polluting the air over my cliff top mansion, I'd even be prepared to publicise the little-known fact that there's gold nuggets buried in them there sands!
Click here to read Encams press release
Click here for list of Blue Flag beaches