Blue Flags will be flying high above the beaches of Sidmouth from this week, after the town won the prestigious Blue Flag for the first time since the 1990s naming it as one of the best in the country.

The flag was awarded by Environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy, who give them out in recognition of beaches in England that achieve the highest standards of beach management, and in the case of bathing beaches, meet the required standards for water quality.

Sidmouth won the prestigious Blue Flag for the first time since the nineties alongside Exmouth, who have retained the award for the second year, Seaton and Budleigh Salterton.

The news of Sidmouth’s new Blue Flag was welcomed by Sidmouth Town Council’s Chair of Environment, Cllr Denise Bickley, and Chair of Tourism and Economy, Cllr Louise Cole.

Cllr Cole said: “This is such a positive and important award for the Town and reflects on the hard work of so many groups. Thanks must go to East Devon District Council, Sidmouth Town Council Staff and councillors, Jurassic Paddle Sports, Sidmouth Lifeboat and the army of volunteers who play such a large part in keeping the beach clean.”

Thanks to the awarding of the flag, Sidmouth now joins the ranks of England’s best beaches, guaranteeing visitors that the beach is clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards as well as the tough international bathing water quality standards.

Cllr Geoff Jung, East Devon’s Coast, Country and Environment Portfolio Holder, said: “It’s great that our beaches have again achieved the Blue Flag Awards. This clearly demonstrates that East Devon District Council, through their team of officers and staff, their various partners and our many volunteers have again worked tremendously hard to gain these awards.

“The Blue Flag Awards assess the beach and its surroundings for safety, services, environmental education and management, plus being litter free. On behalf of all our residents and our many visitors to our beaches, I would like to congratulate our hardworking team for all the work that they have done.”