Blue Flag status returns to seaside town for first time since 2018

Southwold Blue Flag status returns 2022

Left to right: Cllrs Letitia Smith (East Suffolk), Will Windell (Mayor of Southwold), Simon Flunder (Southwold Town Council) and David Beavan (Southwold and East Suffolk). Credit: East Suffolk Council. - Credit: East Suffolk Council

Three beaches in Waveney have been hailed after being ranked amongst the best in the country.

The beach at Southwold has been awarded Blue Flag status for the first time since 2018, while Lowestoft's South Beach and Kessingland Beach have both achieved Seaside Awards.

The accolades have been announced today (Friday) by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

With the country’s best beaches awarded Blue Flags and Seaside Awards each year, four of East Suffolk’s beaches have been selected for 2022.

Both Felixstowe (Felixstowe South and Pier) and Southwold (Southwold Pier) have received combined Seaside Awards and Blue Flags while the beaches at Lowestoft South of Claremont Pier (bathing/resort) and Kessingland (non-bathing) have received Seaside Awards.

This is the third consecutive year in which Felixstowe has received the Blue Flag, while it is "a welcome return to Southwold," having last been awarded Blue Flag status in 2018.

It comes after work between the Environment Agency and Anglian Water led to the bathing water at Southwold Pier being classified as ‘excellent’ earlier this year, having been classified as ‘good’ since 2018.

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This improvement in bathing water quality made Southwold eligible to apply for a Blue Flag.

Letitia Smith, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for communities, leisure and tourism said: “We have outstanding beaches in East Suffolk which are hugely popular with residents and visitors and so we are delighted to once again receive these prestigious awards which reflect the quality and cleanliness of our coastline.

"Anyone visiting East Suffolk’s beaches this summer can be sure they are visiting one of the best in the country.”

In the east of England 15 beaches across the region have met the high standard required and earned a Blue Flag, with 24 beaches in total across the east having been presented with an award recognising the quality of the beach, the way it is managed and the facilities it offers to visitors.

Last month (April), frustration was shared over Lowestoft's lost Blue Flag status at a meeting of Lowestoft Town Council's climate emergency and ecological committee.

The town's South Beach lost its Blue Flag status in 2016, when water quality dropped from the required 'excellent' status to 'good'.

Despite claiming numerous Seaside Awards over the years, the Blue Flag status has not been restored - prompting the town council to unanimously agree to approach the Environment Agency over the issue.