West Wittering beach can keep its blue flag flying

Sunseekers, parasols and windbreaks on West Wittering Beach, 17th June 2017. Photo by Derek Martin
Sunseekers, parasols and windbreaks on West Wittering Beach, 17th June 2017. Photo by Derek Martin

West Wittering beach will continue to be officially recognised as one of the best beaches in West Sussex after retaining its blue flag status.

The popular sandy beach is included in Keep Britain Tidy’s latest list of 71 blue flag beaches in the UK, which was revealed today.

The blue flag is an international symbol that tells the public a beach is clean, safe and meets the highest environmental standards, as well as the international bathing water quality standards.

Blue Flag beaches also have to run a minimum of five educational activities for the local community and visitors to make people aware of the importance of looking after the natural environment.

The beach at West Wittering, which is privately owned and managed by the West Wittering Estate plc, has held the status since at least 2003.

It is one of 15 beaches in the South East of the country which can fly a blue flag.

Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “Visiting beaches with the Blue Flag status means beach-goers can feel more relaxed in a setting that is environmentally considerate.

“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.

“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.”

There is more good news for beaches in Chichester, as Southern Water’s work to bring the bathing water standard in Selsey up to ‘excellent’ draws to a close.

Selsey was one of seven areas selected by the company for its £31.5m Bathing Water Enhancement Programme.

The programme involved extensive work being carried out to improve the quality of the water.

This included identifying misconnected household appliances such as toilets, showers and washing machines; sewer rehab work; refurbishing pumping stations; working with farmers and landowners to minimise agricultural run-off and CCTV investigations.

Chris O’Grady, Southern Water’s senior project manager for the Bathing Water Enhancement Programme, said: “We’ve had a really busy couple of years working towards completing all actions for the 2019 bathing season.

“I’m delighted to say we’re almost there, with the vast majority of major works having been completed in all ‘magnificent seven’ locations.

“This was a brand new approach to improving the bathing waters in our region and was our response to our customers’ wishes for us to help boost more bathing waters in the region up to Excellent standard.

“We couldn’t have got to where we are without such great support and collaboration with our local authority partners and we’re very grateful to them.

“After all, our beaches are there for all of us to enjoy for both work and leisure and it’s up to all of us to play our part in protecting and enhancing the beauty of the beach.”

SEE MORE: The Witterings among ‘best places to live’ in the South East

Five reasons why the South Downs could help boost your mental health

Works to start on new flat development in Bognor Regis