Snap survey of D-list beach 'unfair'
TOURISM chiefs have labelled as unfair a snapshot survey which failed one of Felixstowe's award-winning beaches for the amount of litter it found.The north beach was judged on nine categories of litter and was given an A or B rating for eight of them, but a D for the other, sewage debris – leaving it with an overall rating of D.
By Richard Cornwell
TOURISM chiefs have labelled as unfair a snapshot survey which failed one of Felixstowe's award-winning beaches for the amount of litter it found.
The north beach was judged on nine categories of litter and was given an A or B rating for eight of them, but a D for the other, sewage debris – leaving it with an overall rating of D.
But council chiefs say they had not been informed the survey would take place and had never heard of it being done before, even though organisers say it is the third year shores have been judged by volunteers.
The BeachBeat scheme is run by the National Aquatic Litter Group, of which the Environment Agency is a member and promotes the scheme on its web site.
A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal council said: "This is the first we have heard of the survey's results but it is a bit unfair that The Dip at Felixstowe has been categorised as D when on only one of the eight categories that was surveyed was measured as poor.
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"This was probably caused by a short-term problem which was due to be put right yesterday by the water board – on all the other measures the beach gained A and B status when it was surveyed on July 24, as indeed did the Felixstowe south beach which gained a B status overall.
"A fairer and more established measure of beach quality is the Seaside Award which was once again awarded to The Dip/Felixstowe north in March.
"This is awarded for cleanliness and water quality and the prestigious blue and yellow flag is flying proudly at the Dip."
BeachBeat said Felixstowe north had received a B rating for the previous two years, while the resort's Blue Flag beach, Felixstowe south, had received a B grade every year.
Volunteers were asked to look at general sewage debris, evidence of cotton buds, oil, faeces, accumulation of litter, broken glass and other harmful rubbish, gross litter and the general state of the shore.