Standards high in Blue Flag resorts

England's beaches are maintaining their cleanliness levels, with 70 being awarded the Blue Flag – only one fewer than last year.

In addition, 108 beaches have received Quality Coast Awards.

With 32 beaches winning both Blue Flag and Quality Coast Awards, England can boast 146 award-winning beaches compared with 150 in 2010. In 2002, only 45 beaches achieved the international quality-standard.

However this year the number awarded in South-east England fell from 17 to 10.

Phil Barton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, which administers the award, said: "The continuing high standards of our beaches are testament to the hard work carried out by beach managers throughout the year."