South Shields' Sandhaven Beach regains Blue Flag for 2022, ranking among the best in the UK

Seaside-lovers are celebrating after South Tyneside’s Sandhaven Beach regained its Blue Flag status, putting it among the very best in the country for 2022.

The Blue Flag awards, now in their 35th year, are issued by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy and act as ‘a quality mark so visitors can be sure the beaches boast top-notch facilities and meet the highest environmental standards’.

The charity said the Blue Flag is also a sign to paddlers and wild swimmers that Sandhaven Beach has met tough international bathing water quality standards.

Cllr Ernest Gibson with South Tyneside Homes Handy Estates assistant manager Eddie Hope, and Outdoor Facilities officer Allan Maving, with Sandhaven's Blue Flag award. Picture issued by South Tyneside Council.

Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “Sandhaven is one of our borough’s best assets, attracting thousands of visitors every year. It’s wonderful news that it has secured the Blue Flag.

“The flag flying acts as a guarantee that South Tyneside has one of the best beaches in the world and is a ringing endorsement of the quality experience and superb facilities that visitors to Sandhaven can enjoy.

“These awards are not given out lightly; they are difficult to achieve.

“Our staff and partners work extremely hard to help keep our seafront to a standard that keeps people returning whenever they can. The Blue Flag is recognition of their commitment and dedication to making sure the area is clean and safe for both residents and visitors alike.”

South Tyneside Green Party leader David Francis.

He added: “We also recognise that while the Blue Flag is based on high quality standards in the area, this award could not be achieved without the involvement of our local businesses and volunteers who work with us in ensuring our foreshore, beach and local facilities offer a great visitor attraction.

"This award celebrates all those efforts. Well done to all those involved.”

South Tyneside Green Party leader David Francis, who represents the Beacon and Bents ward which covers a stretch of the beach, praised community groups and volunteers as well as council workers for their efforts to look after the coastline.

“It is fantastic to see Sandhaven Beach once again recognised with Blue Flag status having lost this in 2019,” he said.

"Our coastline is just one of the things that makes South Tyneside such an amazing place to live. The beaches also attract large numbers of visitors from further afield, giving a boost to the local economy.

"In addition to South Tyneside Council’s efforts, many community groups and volunteers play a part in looking after our beaches.

"The Blue Flag status gives some well deserved recognition to everyone involved in keeping our coastline clean and safe.

“Hopefully an increased focus on improving recycling facilities and eliminating single-use plastics will help keep our beaches, seas and oceans clean in the years to come.”

Sandhaven is among seven beaches in the North East, and 80 across the UK, to receive the international Blue Flag award.

Keep Britain Tidy’s, chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, said: “The huge commitment needed to maintain marvellous beaches worthy of these awards cannot be underestimated.”