BRIGHTON’S beaches have been named as some of the UK’s best for water quality and safety.

Brighton Central and Hove Lawns were classed as “excellent” by the Environment Agency and won Blue Flags from environment charity Keep Britain Tidy.

Chris Ingall, Brighton and Hove’s seafront operations manager, said: “This is great recognition for everyone’s hard work.

“As a city we’re promoting the reduction of single use plastics and removal of waste from our beaches. There is still a lot to be done but the tide is turning on this global issue.

“My message to everyone who comes to our lovely beachfront is to please be considerate, use the bins provided, recycle where possible and leave the place tidy for everyone to enjoy.”

Traders on the seafront said they hoped the accolade would encourage more people to make the most of the city’s beaches.

Margaret Carroll, 44, who works for Brighton Palace Pier, said: “I think having the blue flag will make a big difference.

“I come from Yorkshire and have seen in Blackpool the negative effect having a dirty beach can have.

“I love it down here and in the summer the beach looks absolutely fantastic, so knowing that the beach is clean and safe will only encourage more people to come down.”

Blue Flags are given to beaches that have achieved the highest standards in water quality, facilities, safety, environmental education and management.

Saltdean beach has also been recognised with a Seaside Award which marks it as a “quality beach”.

Dougal Fleming, 32, and Ewan Stoddart, 42, took part in a beach clean yesterday with a group of volunteers.

Mr Fleming said: “In places like Brighton. which have such a high density of people and tourists, having a clean beach and keeping it clean will have a huge impact and bring more people down here.

“People are becoming more conscious and aware of the impacts of their actions and plastic waste.

“If it is maintained over a long period of time it will earn a reputation as a clean beach and anyone who does leave rubbish will be stigmatised ridiculed.”

Mr Stoddart added: “I’m a Brighton boy and have lived here my whole life.

“There has been a turning point with the introduction of reusable cups and containers. I think the latest Attenborough documentary had a big effect.”

Fiona Zammit, 61, was visiting the UK from Australia.

She said: “I can’t see any rubbish anywhere on the beach, which isn’t often the case. I’m still getting over the pebbles, though.”