Two Sunderland beaches have each won two coveted awards marking their status among the best in the country.
Roker and Seaburn beaches have both secured international Blue Flag status and achieved the Seaside Award, from leading environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy.
Both the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards are the quality marks for beaches and mean that visitors can be sure that they boast top-notch facilities, are clean and safe and meet the highest environmental standards.
The awards also acknowledge that both Roker and Seaburn have met the required European Union standards for water quality.
Portfolio Holder for Communities and Culture, Coun John Kelly, said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag for Roker and Seaburn once again, they help provide a visible reminder to everyone of the cleanliness of our bathing waters and first class facilities along our seafront.”
Roker and Seaburn are listed among 65 beaches in the UK to receive the international Blue Flag award and two of 125 to secure the Seaside Award.
Only 42 beaches achieved both awards, which include Sandhaven Beach in South Shields.
Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport, Coun Amy Wilson added: “The awards are national recognition of our bathing beaches as being among the best in the country, and are testament to the hard work of everyone involved in helping them stay that way.
“We’re very lucky to have fantastic beaches with beautiful, clean water to swim and bathe in, a magnificent seafront and a pier and promenade for everyone to enjoy. “We hope these flags will encourage even more people to become regular visitors to our seafront to enjoy our world-class beaches, events and attractions.”
Research from Keep Britain Tidy has revealed cleanliness of the beach is the number one cause for concern for families visiting beached in England– with 40% worrying about unclean water, 38% put off by litter and two in five (42%) saying they’re put off by dog mess.
As a result, nearly half (47%) would leave immediately if they saw litter and dog mess on a beach, while 40% wouldn’t let their children play there.
However, two thirds of parents say that knowing a beach has been awarded Blue Flag or Seaside Award status gives them confidence that a beach is a clean, safe place for their children to play, with 15% saying they will only go to an award-winning beach.
Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “The success of the 148 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.”