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Isle of Wight 'top in region for beaches'

Thu 17 May 2012

Isle of Wight 'top in region for beaches'

The Isle of Wight has been named the top area in the south-east of the UK for the quality of beaches by Keep Britain Tidy.

It has been awarded three prestigious Blue Flag awards and 11 Quality Coast Awards by the organisation.

Thanet received ten awards from the body, so the Isle of Wight's total of 14 puts it well on top for the south-east region.

Shanklin, Sandown and Ventnor were all lauded by Keep Britain Tidy and were given Blue Flag awards as a result, while the beaches at Colwell, Cowes, East Cowes, Gurnard, Seagrove, Springvale, Totland and Yaverland received Quality Coast Awards.

Strict criteria on factors including high water quality and litter levels are among those that must be met by beaches if they are to be given the accolades.

George Brown, Isle of Wight Council Cabinet member responsible for tourism, described the news as "excellent", adding: "This retains our number one standing as the best tourism destination in the south-east for quality beaches and shows the hard work to maintain our beaches over the last year has been worthwhile. This is very good news for the island as we build up towards the main tourism season."

Families wishing to enjoy a beach break in the UK over the course of the summer may therefore wish to book Isle of Wight holidays in the coming weeks and months and have their pick of 14 great sandy stretches across the island.

Earlier in the month, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) highlighted a number of beaches on the Isle of Wight in its latest Good Beach Guide, with Shanklin, Ventnor, Totland Bay, Gurnard, Colwell Bay, Sandown, Sandown-Yaverland, St Helens, Compton Bay and Seagrove all given the top rating in the water quality category.

Rachel Wyatt, coastal pollution officer for the MCS, told the Isle of Wight County Press that this will attract people to book Isle of Wight holidays.

Posted by Steph WhiteADNFCR-3083-ID-801365890-ADNFCR

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