Beaches among the best in the country
TWO of Felixstowe's holiday beaches were today ranked among the best in Britain after passing the toughest tests for water quality.The resort's north and south beaches have both won a place in the national Good Beach Guide, which pinpoints the 453 beaches that have passed Euro bathing water tests for sewage bacteria as well as having a host of other facilities and attractions.
TWO of Felixstowe's holiday beaches were today ranked among the best in Britain after passing the toughest tests for water quality.
The resort's north and south beaches have both won a place in the national Good Beach Guide, which pinpoints the 453 beaches that have passed Euro bathing water tests for sewage bacteria as well as having a host of other facilities and attractions.
But sadly for the second year running the resort's south beach will only be on the web site and not in the printed book - after an error by the publishers.
They apologised today but reassured tourist traders that many people do consult the web site before travelling or holidaying in an area.
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Felixstowe's south beach, which stretches from the pier to the funfair in Sea Road, is already a Blue Flag beach, while the north beach at Old Felixstowe is a Yellow Flag Seaside Award holder as a quieter, rural and unspoilt shore.
It is the second year running that the beaches have been singled out by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and included in the guide.
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Other Suffolk beaches which have also received the accolade are Southwold The Denes and pier, and three at Lowestoft.
The MCS said only those beaches meet the Guideline European water quality standard, and are not affected by inadequately treated sewage, had been recommend for the guide.
Thomas Bell, MCS Good Beach Guide officer said: "There has been a year on year improvement in coastal water quality, partly because the guide turns an annual spotlight on good and bad beaches - 56 per cent of all sampled bathing waters are recommended this year, which shows both how far we have come and the distance left to run.
"I wouldn't jump in the sea without consulting the guide first, and you can drop it in your pocket if you're heading for the coast."
Russell Amerasekera, presenter of BBC1's Holiday 2004 programme will launch the Good Beach Guide 2004 today at a special ceremony.
The MCS believes that a comprehensive strategy is needed to tackle all sources of sewage pollution, if the public's health is to be protected when bathing around the UK coast.
It calls for more public information on beaches that fail the lowest standards, and says the sewage improvement programme must continue to ensure that all UK beaches achieve the higher water quality standards that should be introduced following the revision of the EC Bathing Water Directive.
What do you think of Felixstowe's beaches? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1Anm, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk