North Tyneside beaches are flying the flag for high standards.
King Edwards Bay, Tynemouth Longsands and Whitley Bay have been ranked among the best in the country for another year.
All three retained the Blue Flag awards they won in 2017 to preserve their status as three of the finest beaches in the country.
The coveted Blue Flag is an international award, administered by the charity Keep Britain Tidy, which recognises the nation’s cleanest and best-maintained beaches, with the highest standards and best visitor facilities.
Just six beaches in the North East received the award.
The three beaches, as well as Cullercoats, have also achieved the prestigious Seaside Award – a Keep Britain Tidy accolade for the highest standards of beach management and required water quality standards for bathing.
A total of 65 Blue Flags and 125 Seaside Awards have been announced, with the three North Tyneside beaches among 42 beaches to achieve both awards.
North Tyneside Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “It’s wonderful to see our beaches receive these coveted awards once again. The Blue Flag and Seaside Award signify that our beaches are absolutely first-class and that people can enjoy themselves in a clean, healthy, and safe environment.
“We have continued to invest heavily in our award-winning coastline over the years and it’s very exciting to see ambitious projects such as the £36million Seafront Master Plan for Whitley Bay take shape.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to all of our staff who work so hard to maintain such high standards, and to our residents, visitors, and local businesses who always try to take such good care of our coast.”
Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “Blue Flag and Seaside Awards set the standard for our beaches, including the war against the litter and plastic that does so much damage to our marine environment.
“It’s brilliant to see so many beaches in the North East and the rest of the country winning Blue Flag and Seaside Award status this year, thanks to dedication and hard work of beach staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards.”