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Healthy beaches fly the flag

PUBLISHED: 15:19 08 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:46 02 March 2010

FIVE of Suffolk Coastal's beaches – including two at Felixstowe – were today flying the flag for cleanliness after winning national awards.

The shores have gained yellow and blue Seaside Award flags for this summer after being judged to be in tip top condition after meeting a series of tough criteria and also for their excellent water quality.

FIVE of Suffolk Coastal's beaches - including two at Felixstowe - were today flying the flag for cleanliness after winning national awards.

The shores have gained yellow and blue Seaside Award flags for this summer after being judged to be in tip top condition after meeting a series of tough criteria and also for their excellent water quality.

ENCAMS, the group behind the Keep Britain Tidy campaign, announced Seaside Awards for the rural beaches at Aldeburgh, the Dip at Felixstowe, Sizewell, and Thorpeness. Felixstowe's south beach gained a resort award.

"It is excellent news that once again our rural beaches have earned this prestigious award which recognises the efforts that have been made by Suffolk Coastal and others to make them attractive to both visitors and residents," said Andrew Nunn, cabinet member for the environment.

"The distinctive blue and yellow flag is only allowed to fly over beaches that ENCAMS judge as having 'clean sands and supreme facilities'."

The awards recognise clean, well-managed resort and rural beaches that comply with the legal standards of water quality laid down by the European Union and the strict European "guideline" tests.

Nearly 20 different criteria were measured by ENCAMS, including whether there are sufficient litter and dog refuse bins and if these are emptied regularly, and checks on lifesaving equipment.

There are even more criteria used to assess resort beaches such as Felixstowe south - including controls on dogs, supervision and first aid is available during peak hours, and there is parking and toilets for disabled visitors.

Tourism chiefs hope the awards will attract even more visitors to Felixstowe as they are officially guaranteed good facilities, a good quality beach, and safe bathing water.

Lowestoft south and north and Southwold Denes and pier beaches also won awards. Nationally, 375 beaches will be flying the Seaside Award flag.

Nigel Tansley-Thomas, Regional Director of ENCAMS, said it was excellent news for the region.

"We mustn't become complacent. Our beaches may be getting better but sadly this progress is not always happening off the beach. I would like to see time and money invested in making other beaches in the region cleaner and safer."

WEBLINK: www.encams.org


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