Beaches fly flag for England

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The Independent Online

An increasing number of England's beaches have won Blue Flag awards this year, bringing the country into the top 10 worldwide.

For 2012, 79 English beaches have received the awards, nine more than in 2011. The area with the most Blue Flags this year is Thanet in Kent, with nine, followed by Torbay, in Devon, and Cornwall, both with five.

New awards for 2012 included Herne Bay in Kent, Seaton Carew Centre in Tyne and Wear, and Bridlington North and Bridlington South in East Yorkshire.

However, around 30 per cent of the beaches might not reach tougher water quality standards being introduced next year, according to Keep Britain Tidy.