Beach retains Blue Flag
FELIXSTOWE'S main holiday beach has today kept its prestigious European Blue Flag - despite no-one being allowed on the shore at the moment.The resort's south beach - currently the scene of a £10 million sea defence project - was one of four in the county to win an award, with Lowestoft's two beaches, north and south of Claremont Pier, and Southwold the others retaining their flags.
FELIXSTOWE'S main holiday beach has today kept its prestigious European Blue Flag - despite no-one being allowed on the shore at the moment.
The resort's south beach - currently the scene of a £10 million sea defence project - was one of four in the county to win an award, with Lowestoft's two beaches, north and south of Claremont Pier, and Southwold the others retaining their flags.
It is the ninth year running Felixstowe has won a Blue Flag.
A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal District Council said: “This year's announcement coincides with the beach being temporarily closed while the much-needed £10m coastal defence scheme is underway.
“This work will deliver by the end of the summer, not only permanent protection from flooding for 1,600 homes and businesses, but also the guarantee of an even better beach with the new groynes helping to keep the sand where it should be.”
For a beach to be considered for a flag it must have attained the guideline standard of the Bathing Water Directive for water quality, plus have a range of facilities, including toilets and safety cover.
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ENCAMS, which makes the annual awards, said over the past six years the number of Blue Flag beaches in England has nearly doubled - 82 this year compared to 45 to 2002.
There are 2,682 Blue Flag beaches worldwide - the best country for Blue Flags is Spain with 499.
Keep Britain Tidy chief executive, Phil Barton, said: “We keep being told that our love affair with the seaside has been on the rocks. But as far as we are concerned England's beach resorts go from strength to strength.
“Now is the time for the English to rekindle passion for traditional beach holidays in this country.
“Our beaches are fabulous places to visit and that's official. Blue Flag is only awarded to beaches that have good access, top notch facilities, are litter free and have clean sea-water.
“We are challenging people to avoid overseas air travel and be kind to the environment by holidaying at home.”
Is Felixstowe's beach worth a Blue Flag? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk
Work to strengthen beach continues - see page nine.>