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Blue flag joy for Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 09:39 13 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:20 06 July 2010

FIVE seaside destinations in Norfolk and north Suffolk are celebrating today after their clean, safe and litter-free beaches were recognised with prestigious blue flags.

FIVE seaside destinations in Norfolk and north Suffolk are celebrating today after their clean, safe and litter-free beaches were recognised with prestigious blue flags.

Hunstanton can now join Sheringham, Cromer, Sea Palling and Lowestoft - winner of two awards for its beaches north and south of Claremont Pier - with the coveted quality mark following the announcement by Keep Britain Tidy.

But Mundesley has been stripped of its award following three failed water quality tests in 2009.

It meant the beach - as well as those at Old Hunstanton and two in Southwold which last held the awards in 2008 - could not qualify for a blue flag even if the rest of its facilities were up to it.

Elizabeth Nockolds, West Norfolk Council's member for sports, arts and open spaces, said Hunstanton's award was “great news” for the resort which has gained a strong reputation among water-sports enthusiasts.

She added: “The award gives competitors, and other water users, confidence in the quality of the water and means that Hunstanton now has the whole package - great facilities, well-managed, safe, clean beaches and good standards of water quality.”

Hilary Nelson, North Norfolk's cabinet member for tourism, said the district's three awards reflected the authority's efforts to ensure its beaches remained clean and safe.

She added: “Our blue flag beaches are our pride and joy and the result of a great deal of dedicated work from a largely unsung team of officers and, last but no means least, the council's litter pickers who can be seen on our beaches throughout the summer months and in all weathers.”

The highly-prized awards recognise beaches boasting clean water, litter free shores, good facilities and high safety levels.

Quality Coast Awards, for the best managed beaches, were also given to sites at Hunstanton, Southwold Denes, Southwold north of the pier, Southwold pier beach and Kessingland.

Wendy Mawer, regeneration portfolio holder at Waveney District Council, said: “This is great news for Waveney and, given that the judging criteria is more stringent than ever, highlights the hard work carried out by a number of teams across the authority and Waveney Norse throughout the year.”

Great Yarmouth Borough Council did not apply for any awards.

In total 11 of England's 71 blue flags were awarded to the East of England while 18 of 111 beaches receiving Quality Coast Awards were in this region.

Keep Britain Tidy's chief executive Phil Barton said quality English beaches were particularly important at the moment with the rise in popularity of so-called “stay-cations”.

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