SEVEN beaches in the North-East and Yorkshire have been awarded a Blue Flag, showing they are among the cleanest beaches in the world.

From today, Whitby and Saltburn will be able to fly a Blue Flag to mark their clean beach status, announced by Keep Britain Tidy.

Further north, other beaches that have won the international award include Roker and Seaburn, in Sunderland, and Tynemouth, Whitley Bay and King Edwards Bay in North Tyneside.

The Northern Echo: Whitby was one of the beaches awarded with a Blue Flag Picture: Danny Lawson/PA WireWhitby was one of the beaches awarded with a Blue Flag Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

To receive the Blue Flag, beaches must also run a minimum of five educational activities to make people aware of the importance of looking after the natural environment.

Another 15 beaches in the region have won a Seaside Award - Keep Britain Tidy’s own award for beaches that meet high standards for cleanliness and facilities.

Some of these beaches include Seaton Carew in Hartlepool, Sandhaven in South Tyneside, and Scarborough in North Yorkshire.

These awards come after research conducted by Keep Britain Tidy showed 74 per cent of people under 35 are concerned by litter on beaches and plastic in water systems.

As a result, the newly dubbed “Attenborough Effect” is contributing to cleaner public spaces, with 54 per cent of people saying the nature documentaries fronted by Sir David Attenborough have encouraged them to personally clear up discarded litter.

This has meant six more beaches in the UK have been awarded a Blue Flag since last year.

Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton, said: “Visiting beaches with the Blue Flag or Seaside Award status means beach-goers can feel more relaxed in a setting that is environmentally considerate.

“We as individuals feel emotionally connected to the environment more than ever, with so many experiencing eco-anxiety. Keep Britain Tidy continues to push for more environmentally responsible beaches, where visitors needn’t feel this stress.

“We’re incredibly pleased to have even more winners this year than last, proving the great dedication of the beach staff. From environmental education for the local community and ensuring responsible beach use, to cleaning regimes and an increasing number of recycling facilities, it is a full-time commitment to create beaches worthy of the awards.”