Blue joy for Felixstowe

WITH the weather warming up and summer on its way, sunseekers in Felixstowe will be pleased to learn they have one of the cleanest beaches in Europe on their doorstep.

WITH the weather warming up and summer on its way, sunseekers in Felixstowe will be pleased to learn they have one of the cleanest beaches in Europe on their doorstep.

The town's south beach has today been awarded the European Blue Flag award for the fifth year running.

Given to only 14 beaches in East Anglia, the accolade is one of the toughest beach awards to win and recognises spotless, litter free sands, the cleanest possible water and brilliant facilities.

Felixstowe is the only beach in the Suffolk coastal district council area to be awarded the flag, but three other Suffolk beaches in the north of the county have also been honoured -Southwold and the north and south beaches in Lowestoft.


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Norfolk has six awards in total, while Essex picked up four.

The Blue Flag awards are organised in the UK by Environmental Campaigns (ENCAMS), who also run the Keep Britain Tidy campaign.

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All beaches must meet a number of requirements before they can be considered for the award.

Water quality, which is tested by the Environment Agency, has to meet the highest guideline standards laid out in European law. The beach itself must be free of litter and impose a dog ban during the summer months. Facilities have to be second to none and cater for families as well as the disabled. On top of this, safety is paramount and a lifeguard must be on duty at peak times.

Nigel Tansley-Thomas, the regional director of ENCAMS in East Anglia, said: ""This truly is excellent news for the region. Whilst millions already flock to our historic towns and beautiful countryside, we have even more to offer the discerning visitor now.

"With a coastline as good as those in Europe, we can really begin to market ourselves as an internationally renowned destination."

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