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Pirates hoist Blue Flag over acclaimed beach

The famous ‘Blue Flag’ – an internationally-recognising of bathing beach quality – is now flying proudly above a Wirral beach.

Volunteers from The New Brighteners and the Black Pearl pirates joined officers from Wirral Council’s Parks and Countryside service and Coastal Rangers to see the raising of the Blue Flag at Wallasey Beach on Wednesday.

The Harrison Drive beach was one of 68 Blue Flag locations announced by Keep Britain Tidy at its 2017 Blue Flag and Seaside Awards.

Established in 1987, the Blue Flag Awards recognise that those visiting its beaches can be sure they are clean and safe, meeting the highest environmental standards and the tough international bathing water quality standards.

Situated next to Derby Pool car park, Wallasey Beach is maintained by the Parks and Countryside team at Wirral Council.

Cllr Phill Brightmore, Wirral Council Cabinet member for Environment, said: “It is fantastic for Wirral to receive such a prestigious award for Wallasey beach and it is an endorsement of the hard work, led by council staff but invaluably supported by volunteers and other local groups, to maintain it year round.

“This stretch of coastline is already a popular local destination for families and we hope to welcome more visitors once the blue flag is flying proudly on the beach.”

A survey carried out by Keep Britain Tidy shows that nine out of 10 people said cleanliness, safety and assured water quality were key factors in deciding which beach to visit.

This year, the international Blue Flag Award Scheme marks its 30th anniversary. In 1987 12 English beaches achieved their Blue Flag, and in the 30 years since the number has soared to 68 beaches.

To be awarded a blue flag, beaches must comply with a number of criteria covering environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, plus safety and services.

The criteria also considers dog walking on beaches at peak times. Accordingly, the council is asking dog owners to consider, on a purely voluntary basis, not taking their pets onto Wallasey beach between 10am and 5pm from May until September 30th.