One Essex beach has made the list of the UK’s top 50 beaches.
Southend-on-Sea, Essex is the only beach in the county to be gifted the accolade of being one of the nation’s favourite beaches, according to a recent survey.
Quizzing the minds of 2,000 adults, Bournemouth beach in Dorset nabbed top spot as Britain’s top seaside locations, while three Cornish beaches made the top ten – including St Ives, Bude and Newquay.
Devon is home to seven beaches in the top 50 list, as reported by The Mirror, with Woolacombe, Dawlish and Torquay on the list.
Southend-on-Sea unfortunately didn’t make the top 10, but was listed as number 36 – topping 14 other highly-popular beaches.
The survey revealed that 75 per cent of people consider the beach or sea to be an iconic part of our landscape, with a third believing that holidays to the UK’s seaside are underrated.
Sarah Young, head of marine policy at WWF-UK, which commissioned the research in partnership with Sky Ocean Rescue, said: “While we wait for travel restrictions to be lifted, there are a number of things we can be doing at home to protect our beautiful coastlines and ensure staycations can be enjoyed for years to come.
“Over the months ahead, Sky Ocean Rescue and WWF will be setting out the actions that we can take as individuals to become ocean heroes, while also encouraging stronger leadership from the UK Government to support vital ocean recovery that’s so urgently needed.”
The study also found half of those interviewed love the beach because it makes them feel free, helps to clear their head and allows them to escape the stresses and strains of everyday life.
Two thirds agreed they have a strong emotional connection to the seaside, with 67 per cent admitting they have missed visiting the beach during the pandemic.
More than half said they go to the beach to relax and unwind, with 29 per cent saying they see it as a form of escapism.
The study, which was carried out via OnePoll, revealed 45 per cent of people feel that trips to the seaside are an important part of British culture, with 87 per cent saying they would be upset if their visits were ruined by environmental factors.
As a result, two thirds are passionate about the care of the ocean and its wildlife and are concerned about climate change and the state of the UK oceans.
But only 23 per cent are fully aware of the role that oceans play in tackling climate change – with one in 10 admitting they were not aware at all.
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A total of 59 per cent said they had made conscious lifestyle choices to help benefit the oceans by swapping single use plastics for reusables.
Other lifestyle choices involved properly disposing of hazardous materials, choosing fruit and veg with no plastic packaging, using the ability to vote and eating sustainable seafood.
Sarah Young from WWF-UK added: “The Ocean Hero campaign by Sky Ocean Rescue and WWF is designed to show people that they have the power to make an impact on ocean health and, in doing so, inspire them to advocate for bold action from our government.
“At this critical time for climate and nature, we hope that millions of people will join us to show they care about our oceans and help to turn the tide on ocean recovery.”
To find out more about WWF’s partnership with Sky Ocean Rescue or to join the fight and become an Ocean Hero visit wwf.org.uk/ocean-heroes.
Ocean Hero at Home Actions
1. Make sure you are recycling properly by checking your local council’s recycling guidelines
2. Avoid extra sides of plastic – refuse single use cutlery with your takeaway
3. Go packaging-free when you buy fruit and veg
4. Your turn to cook dinner? Why not try a plant-based dish
5. Switch to renewable energy
6. Cut out unnecessary plastic in your bathroom, like swapping to soap bar
Top 50 UK beaches
- Bournemouth, Dorset
- St Ives, Cornwall
- Bude, Cornwall
- Blackpool Beach
- Whitby, Yorkshire
- Brighton, Sussex
- Newquay, Cornwall
- Tenby, Pembrokeshire
- Bognor Regis, West Sussex
- Filey, North Yorkshire
- Woolacombe, Devon
- Weymouth, Dorset
- Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
- Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear
- Scarborough, North Yorkshire
- Barmouth, Gwynedd
- Llandudno, Conwy County Borough
- Robin Hood’s Bay, Yorkshire
- Shanklin, the Isle of Wight
- Exmouth, Devon
- Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
- Broadstairs, Kent
- Dawlish, Devon
- Polzeath, Cornwall
- Watergate Bay, Cornwall
- Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire
- Crosby, Merseyside
- Sandbanks beach, Dorset
- Torquay, Devon
- Eastbourne, East Sussex
- Skegness, Lincolnshire
- Camber Sands, East Sussex
- Ilfracombe, Devon
- Paignton, Devon
- Southwold, Suffolk
- Southend on Sea, Essex
- Whitstable, Kent
- Lochinver, Scotland
- Margate, Kent
- Salcombe, Devon
- Pittenweem, Fife
- Porthmadog, Gwynedd
- Portree (Skye), Inner Hebrides
- Portmeirion, Gwynedd
- Hastings, East Sussex
- New Brighton, Merseyside
- Folkestone, Kent
- Plockton, Ross and Cromarty
- Gardenstown, Aberdeenshire
- Stromness, Orkney