Resorts across the region are today celebrating success in the prestigious Blue Flag awards which recognise beach cleanliness.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Beaches from Southwold in the south to Hunstanton in the west are among 25 in the East of England to receive the internationally recognised accolade.

As well as passing Environment Agency bathing water quality tests on at least 17 out of 20 occasions during the season, the beaches have successfully met other strict criteria covering everything from litter to beach management.

However, for the third year running, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston beaches have boycotted the Keep Britain Tidy-administered scheme, borough council tourism officer Alan Carr dismissing its water quality tests as “a lottery”.

In Waveney, the north Lowestoft beach and the sands south of Claremont pier have kept blue flags while the beach at Southwold pier has regained blue flag status after a two-year absence.

Two further of the district’s beaches - Southwold Denes and Kessingland - have received Keep Britain Tidy Quality Coast Awards, a recognition of overall beach standards.

Bernard Reader, chairman of Waveney Tourism Forum, said: “Excellent news. Waveney has more awards for our beaches than anywhere else in Suffolk and Norfolk. This is a great achievement and can only increase tourism here.”

Meanwhile, North Norfolk District Council is toasting four blue flags with Mundesley regaining its award after a year’s absence and Cromer, Sea Palling and Sheringham retaining theirs.

Nick Baker, the council’s strategic director for the environment, said, “North Norfolk is one of the cleanest districts in the country and we have some of the best seaside resorts anywhere. These most recent blue flag awards are testament to the hard work carried out throughout the year in North Norfolk in order to provide clean and safe beaches for everyone to enjoy, whether they live on the coast or are a visitor to the area.”

Hunstanton keeps its blue flag and has also clinched a Quality Coast Award.

Explaining their reasons for boycotting the scheme, Mr Carr said: “We are not convinced that visitors understand what blue flags mean.

“And when you fly a blue flag in 2011 it is based on evidence from the previous year which is a tad confusing.”

Mr Carr said the borough’s beaches were kept in top notch condition but described the blue flag water quality tests as a lottery; if a test was carried out following a storm it could lead to a failure simply because of the inability of drains to cope with the deluge.

He said: “You only have to look at a packed Gorleston beach on a sunny day to realise that people are not concerned whether a blue flag is flying.”

8 comments

  • A quick look at the Blue Flag site shows that some of our best beaches with cleanest bathing water could fail to get a flag -stand pipes for water, life guards etc are not part and parcel of our natural beaches but of groomed resorts. Nor does it seem that safe bathing is required- as long as a beach is clean and has the required features it can have rip tides, sharply shelving beaches and be quite unsuitable for kids to have swim but still get a flag. I wonder how many people are misled into thinking Blue Flag beaches are safe as well as clean.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

  • I don't know what evidence Peter has found re erosion on the beaches which has flowed from the Yare but the Broads Authority are forever congratulating themselves how clean the water is on the Broads.Yes there is river bank erosion but I would agree with the B.A.with all the mod cons they now have on the boats and places for depositing litter and waste the water is very clean compared to years ago.It would be interesting if someone was to take a sample of the water at say Yarmouth and Cromer,got them tested and see what difference there is between the two.

    Report this comment

    john kendall

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

  • Sea Palling gets a blue flag and yes the water and the beach looks relatively clean but the reefs have made it one of the unsafe places in the Great Britain especially on an ebb tide.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

  • The general public perception of Blue Flags is what counts to many of our coastal towns. If they either fail or boycott the sheme then they stand to be at a distinct disadvantage. The Blue Flag has become a standard which visitors & residents look for when visiting beaches, and they tend to stay longer when they do have a Flag.

    Report this comment

    Duncan AA

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

  • Of course Gt Yarmouth and Gorleston have boycotted the scheme and whilst the scheme may be a bit of a lottery there is no way those two beaches would pass on a regular basis. If you witness the detritus that flows down the river Yare and inevitably ends up in on those beaches and in the bathing water nearby you wouldn’t let your dog on there, let alone people with children.

    Report this comment

    D. ROSS

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

  • excuse me for laughing.but i went to the yarmouth beach today.guess what the reason is that yarmouth council blames the stupidity of tourist for not understanding what a blue flag means.is because tourist are not as dumb as this council thinks.i saw on the beach today.bottles cardboard.dog poo.beer cans.some broken bottles(which i picked up and binned.the beach is a complete mess.and the truth is that the council didnt apply for a blue flag is because yarmouth beach has no chance of getting one,dont believe me then go and look for yourself.its a utter disgrace.

    Report this comment

    toby

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

  • How clean the water is on the broads John? That certainly doesn’t apply to the river Yare, the foreshore just downstream from Whitlingham Park is one disgusting mess which I reported recently amongst the usual array of cans, plastic etc there were syringes, colostomy bags and so on. Now this presumably doesn’t come from the sewerage works which is a little further downstream, as it is all screened there. Anyway the river Yare is nothing more than an open sewer which eventually makes its way down to Great Yarmouth and into the bathing water and on the beach around that area.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

  • I saw on Look East, there was greater probability of getting sick from eating seafront ice creams. I'm not swimming or eating ice creams in East Anglia if I can help it. Flag or no flag.

    Report this comment

    Caister Waster

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT