The Environment Agency has today announced the winners of this year's Blue Flag Awards. 

The international award has been presented to four beaches in East Devon to recognise their quality, the way they are managed and the facilities they offer to visitors. 

First-time Blue Flag winners this year are Summerleaze in Cornwall and Beer in East Devon.

The Blue Flag and Seaside Awards are aimed at improving the quality of England’s coastline and promoting the country’s best beaches. 

The full list of beaches in East Devon that have achieved the standard are:  

Beer – East Devon District Council 

Exmouth - East Devon District Council  

Seaton - East Devon District Council  

Sidmouth Town - East Devon District Council  

And 51 beaches in the region were awarded the Seaside Award, including 30 of the Blue Flag holders. They include: 

Seaton (Devon) - East Devon District Council 

Beer - East Devon District Council 

Budleigh Salterton - East Devon District Council 

Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “Visitors to a beach flying a Blue Flag or Seaside Award can be assured the beach will be clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well as international bathing water quality standards. 

“The Blue Flag is the world’s most recognised award for beaches and marinas and, in order to qualify, each applicant must meet and maintain a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria. 

“We’d therefore like to recognise and applaud all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve some of our best-loved and most popular beaches. The collective efforts of beach managers, volunteers, residents and businesses all contribute to the success of these sites in achieving the incredibly high standards demanded.” 

Blue Flag is an international award managed by Keep Britain Tidy on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education.

It is only presented to well-managed beaches with excellent water quality and environmental education programmes, while Seaside Awards are presented to the best beaches in England and celebrate the quality and diversity of our coastline.