Felixstowe beach wins top grading
BEACH babes bathing in the sea at Felixstowe this summer can rest assured – the water's cleaner than it has ever been before!The resort's main holiday beach has today been given the top grade A rating for the first time, after a testing of the water quality and assessment of its beachside amenities showed it had improved to match the best in Britain.
By Richard Cornwell
BEACH babes bathing in the sea at Felixstowe this summer can rest assured – the water's cleaner than it has ever been before!
The resort's main holiday beach has today been given the top grade A rating for the first time, after a testing of the water quality and assessment of its beachside amenities showed it had improved to match the best in Britain.
It is good news for the seaside, which is embroiled in a debate over whether it should be a resort or simply decline into a town by the sea.
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The A rating for the south beach has been given by environmental campaign group ENCAMS, which works with community groups, businesses, councils and other partners to improve the environment.
Last year it only gave the Blue Flag beach from the pier to the amusement park grade B.
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Now the group – which makes the annual Seaside Awards – says water quality is better than ever, water safety and amenities have all improved.
The resort's north beach has received a B, the same grade as last year.
Doreen Savage, chairman of the resort regeneration steering group, said: "We are delighted with the upgrade for the south beach as this proves how much effort and initiative goes into making Felixstowe the wonderful place that it is.
"During the winter there have been problems with debris on the beach but this comes and goes with the various tidal changes and there will be the usual beach sweep prior to the start of the season at Easter, which will ensure that the A grade is maintained."
Chris Slemmings, Suffolk Coastal cabinet member for the environment, said: "This new rating reflects the improvements in the quality of the resort over a number of years."
The Department of Envinment, Food and Rural Affairs has also announced that Felixstowe's south and north beaches have passed all mandatory tests for water quality in the past year, and the more stringent EC Guideline tests.
These show there are no sewage bacteria – faecal coliforms and faecal streptococci – in the water.
Out of a total of 407 English coastal and freshwater bathing areas, 401 passed the EC mandatory tests, but only 70pc passed the tough Guideline analysis.
Water Minister, Elliot Morley said Britain now has "bathing water quality to match the best that Europe has to offer."
Felixstowe has earned a Blue Flag for the past three years for water cleanliness, educational activities, its dog ban, high-quality toilets with baby changing areas, drinking water, access for disabled visitors, first aid and rescue, and nearby recycling facilities.
It also holds a Seaside Award yellow flag for The Dip at Old Felixstowe.