PUT out the flags for resort top beach!
FELIXSTOWE'S main holiday beach is today back in Britain's Good Beach Guide – thanks to the Evening Star.After being alerted by the Star that the resort's south beach had been axed from the annual book, tourism officers made a formal protest to the guide's publishers.
FELIXSTOWE'S main holiday beach is today back in Britain's Good Beach Guide – thanks to the Evening Star.
After being alerted by the Star that the resort's south beach had been axed from the annual book, tourism officers made a formal protest to the guide's publishers.
The Blue Flag beach – which stretches from the pier to the funfair – had passed the European legal standards for cleanliness and the tougher EC "guideline" tests for sewage pollution.
But because just one sample failed, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) said there was a risk of stomach infections and removed it from the 2003 guide.
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Suffolk Coastal said the sample which failed had been 2,000 times higher than a week before and the adjoining shore and must have been a "rogue one-off".
"Suffolk Coastal staff took up the case as the record of water testing by the Environment Agency since 1994 had always rated Felixstowe South as excellent," said Doreen Savage, chairman of the resort regeneration committee.
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"We argued that there was one rogue result taken last June which was 2,000 times higher than the previous week and so should be ignored.
"I am delighted that the Environment Agency supported our call, and that the MCS has listened to our arguments, and I can now reveal that Felixstowe south has been reinstated where it deserves to be – in the position of being one of the best beaches in Britain, with a long and proud record of excellent bathing water quality."
The Environment Agency carries out 20 tests of water quality a year. Last year 19 of them classified Felixstowe south as excellent. However, a test done on June 20 was completely different and as a result the MCS downgraded the beach.
"I would like to reiterate the agency's view that the June 20 result for total coliforms appears to be erroneous," said John Daniels of the Environment Agency.
"The result has been discussed with our laboratory and management and we are convinced that it is not representative of the bathing water, so we are removing it from our bathing water database."
Juliette Camburn, Good Beach Guide officer, said: "In the light of the statement from the Environment Agency over the water quality results for Felixstowe south, MCS are now in the position to be able to recommend this beach – this is great news for the South East region!"
Because the guide has already been printed, the MCS has pledged to amend its website and add a statement why Felixstowe south has been reinstated.
Felixstowe north beach on the other side of the pier is already in the book as a recommended beach.