A South Shields beach has won a coveted Seaside Award - but appears to have lost its Blue Flag status.
The stunning Sandhaven Beach has been given the Seaside Award quality mark from leading environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy.
The award is a guarantee that the stunning tourist spot on South Shields seafront is one of the best sands in the land.
However, the beach is missing from the list of Blue Flag beaches issued today for the first time in 12 years.
The borough’s bathing waters were, however, rated ‘good’.
The Blue Flag is an international award presented to well-managed beaches with excellent water quality and environmental education programmes.
Seaside Awards are presented to the best beaches in England and celebrate the quality and diversity of our coastline.
South Tyneside Council said the Seaside Award is a guarantee that visitors can be sure of top notch facilities which are clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards.
Coun Joan Atkinson, the council’s Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: “The thousands of residents and visitors who flock to Sandhaven every year are testament to what a fantastic attraction it is.
“We’re thrilled that it is has once again received the prestigious Seaside Award, which is recognition of the cleanliness, quality and superb facilities that beachgoers can enjoy.
“Our staff and partners work extremely hard to maintain such high standards.
“This award is recognition of their commitment and dedication to keeping our beaches looking their best and making sure they are clean and safe.”
A series of improvements have also been completed along Sandhaven’s north promenade to help provide better links with the neighbouring Littlehaven Beach and make the area more attractive.
These have included new hard and soft landscaping, seating, improvements to the public toilets and new access points from the promenade.
For further information about Sandhaven Beach, go to www.visitsouthtyneside.co.uk.
Yesterday iIt was fun in the sun along South Tyneside’s coastline as people took advantage of the warm weather.
With temperatures hovering around the 20c degrees mark, many took the opportunity to visit the beaches in South Shields.
And for those who wanted to stay off the sands, there was the opportunity to bathe in the sun in Marine Park or head down the coast to Whitburn and enjoy a stroll beside Souter Lighthouse.
And the good news is that more sunshine is forecast for the next few days. However, the good weather is likely to come to an end at the weekend, when rain showers are predicted.