Published: 06:00, 15 May 2019
| Updated: 07:27, 15 May 2019
Ten beaches around Kent, including seven in Thanet, have been named among some of the best in the world.
The award-winning parts of the county's coastline were included in the winners of the 2019 Blue Flag announced today.
Scroll down to hear from Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton
Minnis Bay in Birchington, West Bay and St Mildreds in Westgate-on-Sea, Botany Bay and Stone Bay in Broadstairs, Westbrook Bay in Margate and the town's Main Sands will all fly the blue flag.
The status acknowledges high environmental standards, water quality and involvement in running at least five educational activities for the community to learn about caring for the environment.
Gavin Waite, director of operational and commercial services at Thanet District Council, said: “Our 19 miles of stunning coastline provide a fantastic place for both residents and visitors to enjoy.
"We are immensely proud to have achieved so many prestigious awards for our sandy beaches, the most in the south east.
"It’s recognition of all the hard work put in by officers, various agencies, voluntary groups and local people to protect our beaches and ensure they remain world class.
"These awards continue to put Thanet on the map as a quality visitor destination and are a symbol to people that the beach and facilities live up to the highest standards of safety, cleanliness, access and environmental management."
The county also has 21 places given the Seaside Award which recognises the quality of beaches meaning visitors are assured of clean and safe water and bathing standards.
Thanet again recorded the highest number of beaches with a total of 14, including some beaches which have never received awards before - Dumpton Gap and Louisa Bay in Broadstairs, Walpole Bay in Margate and Ramsgate's Western Undercliff.
Reculver near Herne Bay was also handed a Seaside Award along with the town's main beach and Sandgate beach near Folkestone is among the others.
Research from Keep Britain Tidy, which organises the awards, revealed nearly three quarters of under 35s feel guilty when they see plastic waste on the beach and 60% have "eco-anxiety" if there are no recycling bins nearby to dispose.
The numbers found some 80% feel more relaxed to spend a day at the beach with recycling bins and signs encouraging visitors to pick up their rubbish.
A total of 71 beaches around the UK are now registered with Blue Flag status.
Keep Britain Tidy chief executive, Allison Ogden-Newton, said: "We as individuals feel emotionally connected to the environment more than ever, with so many experiencing eco-anxiety. Keep Britain Tidy continues to push for more environmentally responsible beaches, where visitors needn’t feel this stress.
"We’re incredibly pleased to have even more winners this year than last, proving the great dedication of the beach staff.
"From environmental education for the local community and ensuring responsible beach use, to cleaning regimes and an increasing number of recycling facilities, it is a full-time commitment to create beaches worthy of the awards.
"Thanks to the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards, visitors can be reassured their destination is cared for and they will be able to help maintain the high standards of these awards thanks to their environmental initiatives."
More by this authorMatt Leclere