Blue Flag boost for Skegness but criticism for Ingoldmells

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SEASIDE enthusiasts were waking up to mixed news this morning after one beach in the area was highly praised for its cleanliness while another came in for scathing criticism from visitors.

Tourism groups in Skegness were given a huge boost earlier this week when the town’s beach was awarded Blue Flag status for the year - one of just four such sites in the county.

The internationally recognised accreditation is only awarded to beaches which offer great facilities and achieve the highest standard of cleanliness.

The news has been welcomed by East Lindsey District Council leader, Coun Doreen Stephenson, who said: “We know our coastline is first class and our beaches are amongst the very best and a major attraction for our visitors. We must work hard to maintain this and ensure our seaside resorts and inland market towns and villages remain popular with tourists for many years to come.

“East Lindsey remains firmly on a the map as one of the UK’s leading tourist destinations and we will fly these flags with pride.”

But just three miles further up the coast, things have been very different.

In the past two weeks the Standard has been inundated with complaints from readers, who are disgusted at the ‘filthy’ state of the beach from Vickers Point, Ingoldmells, towards Chapel St Leonards.

And readers have contacted us to hit out at the inconsiderate litter-bugs who are ruining the beach for others.

Chris Barlow said: “If I had come to the coast for the first time this year I certainly wouldn’t be coming again. In fact, I am not alone in thinking about giving my caravan up in Ingoldmells and moving to a cleaner resort.”

While many have criticised the laziness of beach users for not correctly disposing of their waste, others have suggested the owners of the beach could do more to help the situation by providing extra bins.

Angela Barwell said: “We counted 13 dog bags along with rubbish and bags and bags of stuff just left on the ground because there was nowhere to put them.”

The beach is a private beach belonging to Joe’s Beach Bar, and its owner, Simon Adderley, has expressed a great deal of frustration towards the offending beach-goers.

“I think people are being irresponsible and selfish,” he said.

“In other places around the world the general saying is: take only photographs and leave only footprints.

“I’m going to put more signage up saying that it won’t be tolerated - the dog owners are on a sticky wicket - I’m that close to just banning dogs.”

Mr Adderley employs a team of three litter pickers throughout the season and said the cost of removing the waste over the Easter weekend alone came to over £600.

He believes the problem may have been exacerbated over the bank holidays due to the ‘unprecedented’ number of visitors and the windy weather that followed.

If he does not see an improvement in the behaviour of his visitors soon he intends on imposing a by-law, fining offenders.

l What do you think of the state of the beach? Email andrew.hirst@jpress.co.uk