Results released by Keep Britain Tidy show a total of 71 blue flags have been awarded this year which is a fall of 11 from 2008.

However this is, as the campaigning group points out, a huge increase from the total of 45 in 2002 when the system started.

A spokesman for Keep Britain Tidy, said: “The drop in blue flags is largely due to flooding over the past couple of years – and there is nothing anybody can do about that.”

As well as blue flags 113 quality coast awards (QCA) were also handed out to beaches across the UK.

Leading this year’s roll of honour with a total of 14 are the Isle of Wight – two blue flags and 12 QCAs and Torbay with five blue flags and nine QCAs, while Thanet has 11 – seven blue flags and four QCAs.

The best of the rest sees Scarborough with two blue flags and eight QCAs and Southend with three blue flags and seven QCAs both therefore having a total of ten awards.

Luke Walsh

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie