Suffolk seaside resort thrilled to win prestigious Blue Flag for beaches
- Credit: Archant
A Suffolk seaside resort is celebrating after its beaches were named among the best in the country – winning it a prestigious Blue Flag.
It is the first time Felixstowe has held the award for a decade, after deciding 10 years ago that it was too expensive to enter and keep up with the criteria.
It is the only town in the county this year to meet the criteria for ‘excellent’ international bathing water quality standards required for the Blue Flag.
Water testing off its beaches shows it consistently meets this exacting standard.
Mayor of Felixstowe, Mark Jepson said: “We are delighted to announce that Felixstowe has been recognised as one of the country’s best beaches.
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“To be awarded a Blue Flag, beaches must comply with several criteria covering environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, safety, and services.
“It was a great team effort to achieve these awards and thanks must go to Felixstowe Town Council, Felixstowe Forward, East Suffolk Council as well as the army of volunteer litter-pickers who play a huge part in keeping the beach clean.
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“We urge anyone visiting our fantastic beach to leave the beach as they find it, respect our resort and dispose of litter appropriately.”
Felixstowe beach (Felixstowe South and Pier) will be flying the flag after being recognised by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, joining an elite of 71 seaside towns scooping Blue Flag and Seaside Awards this year.
With the current travel restrictions and the likelihood of foreign holidays being cancelled, a day trip to a beach is likely to be the highlight of most people’s summer this year.
The Seaside Award recognises and rewards beaches in England that achieve the highest standards of beach management and, in the case of bathing beaches, meet the required standards for water quality.
As the only beach in Suffolk to have achieved the required UK and European water quality, Felixstowe’s ‘excellent’ rating means it is the only town in Suffolk that is eligible for the Blue Flag.
Avid sea-swimmer and town councillor, Seamus Bennett, who helped bring the project together, said: “On behalf of all our residents and our many visitors to our beaches, I would like to congratulate our hardworking team for the work that they have done in bringing the Blue Flag back to Felixstowe.
“The water quality has been rated ‘excellent’ for years so Felixstowe deserves this recognition, the result of community spirit at its best.”
Felixstowe did hold a Blue Flag for a decade but in 2010 the then Suffolk Coastal council decided it was becoming too expensive to enter for the award with the ever-growing list of criteria costing too much for the work involved each year.
Instead the council decided to invest its resources in events and attractions to bring more people to the seaside and boost the resort’s economy.
Felixstowe Town Council agreed to use money from its enhancement and promotion budget to enter this year with the support of East Suffolk Council.
A report to the town council said the aim was to “build on the momentum of promoting Felixstowe as a destination, and cross-promotion of visitor related activity”.