Life's a beach on award-winning South Shields sands

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Welsh beaches, marinas and boat tour operators have been ranked among the best in the world.

The global Blue Flag and the UK Seaside Awards are the quality marks for our beaches and mean those visiting them can be sure that they are clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well as the tough worldwide bathing water quality standards.

Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: "Our entire coastline is award-winning which is great news for the millions of people that enjoy it every year".

The awards act as a guarantee that South Tyneside has one of the best beaches in the world.

The winners were announced by Keep Wales Tidy on a year which marks the 30th anniversary of the Blue Flag.

The awards also acknowledge that Sandhaven has met the required European Union standards for water quality.

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The Colchester Harbour Marina in Essex is one of nine marinas, and twenty-seven beaches from across the country awarded the coveted blue flag.

The accolade, handed out by Keep Britain Tidy, recognises the highest quality of water, facilities, safety, environmental education and management. "Well done to all those involved".

This year's biggest victor is Pembrokeshire, which has achieved a total of 56 Coast Awards (11 Blue Flags, 14 Green Coast Awards and 31 Seaside Awards).

It has been awarded to Blackpool South beach, which is among 65 Blue Flag beaches recognised in England this year.

Only 42 beaches achieved both awards - including Roker and Seaburn.

Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: "Our research shows that almost two thirds of parents would prefer to visit beaches with Blue Flag or Seaside Award status, so growing the number of beaches with an award is vital to encourage more families to visit our lovely coastline".

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