Category: Blue Flag Beaches

So what is a Blue Flag Beach?

A Blue Flag Beach is a beach that has been recognized as meeting the requirements needed to receive a Blue Flag award. This is an award issued the UK affiliate organisation to the the Foundation for Environmental Education. (FEE)

The FEE sets a number of minimum standards for beaches. The national affiliate organisations must adhere to these. These minimum standards can be supplemented with further requirements depending on the decision of the National affiliate organisation.

So Who s the FEE?

The FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education) is a non governmental non-profit international organisation. The Blue Flag award can be for beaches, marinas and/or tourism boats.

What is the Purpose of a Blue Flag?

Primarily the stated purpose is support sustainable development in fresh water and marine areas and to challenge beach operators to achieve high standards. There are four categories:

  • Water Quality
  • Environmental Management
  • Environmental Education
  • Safety

Here is a synopsis of the four requirements:

Water Quality

A Blue Flag beach must meet certain water quality standards. To meet these standards there are four water quality criteria. These relate to:

  • The frequency of water sampling and the sampling regime.
  • The standard to which the sample is analyzed to.
  • The monitoring of the absence of industrial waste water or sewage discharges.
  • The monitoring for the absence of oil film or other physical pollution of the water.

Environmental Management

This area relates to the overall management of the beach and involves the satisfactory management of the following areas among others:

  • Waste disposal
  • Beach cleanliness
  • Toilet provision
  • Toilet cleaning regime
  • Controlled sewage disposal

Environmental Education

Environment education should be a prominent feature of the beach and should involve the following activities:

  • Promoting the Blue Flag programme (i.e. publicity for it).
  • Provision of environmental activities to beach visitors.
  • Information on local eco-systems.
  • A map of the beach must be displayed.
  • A code of conduct must be displayed.


The following safety features must be in place to protect beach visitors:

  • An adequate number of lifeguards and life-saving equipment must be present at the beach.
  • The provision of first aid equipment.
  • Emergency plans to cope with pollution risks should be drawn up.
  • Safety plans to protect beach users must be drawn up.
  • There must be a supply of drinking water.