Southwold, Lowestoft and Kessingland beaches rated among the best in the country
- Credit: Archant
Three Waveney beaches have been rated among the best in the country for cleanliness and safety.
The beach at Southwold Pier has once again been awarded Blue Flag status while Lowestoft's South Beach and Kessingland Beach have both achieved a Seaside Award.
The accolades have been announced by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.
The Blue Flag Award is the international standard for beach quality and is only awarded to coastal destinations that boast the highest standards of water, facilities, safety, environmental education and management. The Seaside Award recognises beaches in England that achieve the highest standards of beach management, cleanliness and safety.
Michael Ladd, cabinet member for economic development and tourism at Waveney District Council, said: 'We are absolutely delighted that Southwold has retained its Blue Flag Award for another year and that Lowestoft and Kessingland beaches are in receipt of Seaside Awards. The awards are only given to beaches with excellent safety and cleanliness and show our visitors that we take great pride in our coastline.'
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This year, 68 Blue Flags were handed out in England, with 117 Seaside Awards.
One of the many criteria for a Blue Flag is an excellent water quality rating, however after a lower-than-usual water quality result at Lowestoft the council did not apply for the flag award for the beach this year.
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Mr Ladd said: 'Lowestoft's South Beach has previously been awarded a Blue Flag for many consecutive years and it is unfortunate that this year's water quality testing coincided with significant port activity. The resulting sediment disturbance along the nearby coastline impacted on the water quality results for Lowestoft. However, even with this disturbance, the water quality is still extremely high and we hope to apply for Blue Flag status again next year.'
He added: 'This is an exciting time for our coastal towns; the Lowestoft and Southwold Coastal Community Teams are working to boost the local economy, we are liaising with international designer Wayne Hemingway on the regeneration of Lowestoft's seafront and the summer season is about to arrive, bringing an influx of visitors to the area. These awards will help to attract people to our beaches and highlight that the east Suffolk coast is a great place to live and visit.'