'Attenborough effect' inspires beach clean-ups

Keep Britain Tidy has announced the winners of 71 Blue Flags and 137 Seaside Awards - an increase of 18 beaches on 2018.

The environmental charity has hailed the ‘Attenborough effect’ for an increase in awards for being safe and clean, following survey results highlighting that nature documentaries fronted by Sir David Attenborough had encouraged people to personally clear up discarded litter.

The research reveals that 74 per cent of those under the age of 35 say they are ‘triggered’ with guilt when they go to the beach and see plastic litter. In fact, 60 per cent experience eco-anxiety when seeing tourist destinations littered with plastic and no sustainable facilities to dispose of it, and 78 per cent would avoid visiting a beach without a Blue Flag or Seaside Award for this reason.

Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “Keep Britain Tidy leads the fight for clean, plastic-free beaches. We are committed to creating a great environment on our doorstep for everyone to enjoy and offering a quality mark that shows everyone just how fantastic our beaches can be. Blue Flag and Seaside Awards set the standard for our beaches.

“It’s brilliant to see so many beaches winning Blue Flag and Seaside Award status this year, thanks to dedication and hard work of beach staff and volunteers who work tireless to maintain the high standards.”

The international 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 international bathing water quality standards.