Why north Norfolk's beaches are among the UK's best
PUBLISHED: 08:30 15 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:22 15 May 2019
It's official: North Norfolk has some of the best beaches in the country.
The beaches in Cromer, East Runton, Mundesley, Sea Palling, Sheringham and West Runton have all been awarded prestigious Blue Flags for another year - and that means the 45-mile north Norfolk coastline is home to half of all the Blue Flag beaches in the east of England.
The awards are given out only to those beaches that have the highest quality of water, facilities, environmental education and management, with superb levels of cleanliness and safety. It means the hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors who visit north Norfolk's beaches each year can be sure they are enjoying top-notch destinations.
North Norfolk - which was awarded the same Blue Flags last year - is the only district in the county that has been awarded any Blue Flags for 2019.
As well as the Blue Flags, the beach at Wells, which is owned by the Holkham Estate but jointly managed by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) and the RNLI, has won a Seaside Award, which guarantees visitors a clean, safe, attractive and well-managed coastal stretch.
Councillor Sarah Butikofer, North Norfolk District Council leader, said: "This is fantastic news and highlights once again what fantastic beaches we have in North Norfolk.
"It is testament to all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes all year round to keep our beaches in tip-top condition and guarantee their safety and cleanliness."
Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, which runs the Blue Flags scheme, said: "The success of the beaches in reaching the very high standards demanded by both awards is testament to all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve our beaches - from beach managers and volunteers to local people and businesses.
"When you enjoy a trip to a beach flying an international Blue Flag or Seaside Award, you know you are on one of the safest, cleanest and very best in the country."
There is evidence that the awards attract more visitors, with the number of people visiting the district's beaches rising from 100,000 a year to 400,000 since they started being awarded Blue Flags.