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Proud to fly the flag

PUBLISHED: 09:51 06 June 2008 | UPDATED: 20:34 05 July 2010

THREE beaches in Waveney will be flying the prestigious Blue Flag this year - an internationally recognised symbol of a clean and well-managed beach.

In addition, another three beaches have been given Quality Coast Awards, bringing the number of award-winning beaches in the district up to six.

THREE beaches in Waveney will be flying the prestigious Blue Flag this year - an internationally recognised symbol of a clean and well-managed beach.

In addition, another three beaches have been given Quality Coast Awards, bringing the number of award-winning beaches in the district up to six.

Beaches at Southwold Pier and Lowestoft, both north and south of Claremont Pier have been awarded, Blue Flags for 2008.

Adding to the success the beaches at Kessingland, Southwold Denes and north of the pier at Southwold all qualified for Quality Coast Awards.

George Hawes, chairman of Waveney District Council, said: “This is a great boost to Lowestoft and Waveney.

“We have some of the finest beaches in the country and the tourism department at the council deserve the highest praise for helping to maintain such high standards.”

Members of the Waveney Tourism Forum - management advisory group and members of the Lowestoft Tourism Regeneration Group, celebrated the award with ceremonies on the beaches of Lowestoft and Southwold on Thursday.

ENCAMS European Blue Flag Awards recognise beaches throughout Europe, which fulfil strict criteria relating to both the water quality and the surrounding beach area.

For a beach to be considered it must have attained the guideline standard of the bathing water directive before being assessed for various other criteria. The beach must also demonstrate that it provides and manages a range of facilities and contributes to public awareness of environmental issues.

The Quality Coast Award was launched in 2007 and recognises the diversity and quality of England's coastline. All beaches achieving this award have one thing in common - they have been recognised for providing the very best standards for their visitors.

Wendy Mawer, portfolio holder for regeneration, was delighted with the news: “Our beaches have taken a battering this winter, which cannot only upset their natural balance, but can cause no end of trouble for the teams that clean and maintain them. However, they worked extremely hard to keep them at this high standard and we have been rewarded yet again.”

Waveney District Council's Asa Morrison, principal service manager for culture, tourism and sport, added: “Our beaches are some of our finest assets and one of the main reasons visitors come to the Sunrise Coast. Accolades such as the Blue Flag are of great benefit to the local tourism industry. The Sunrise Coast Visitor Survey 2007 identified that just over 75pc of visitors to the area went to or intended to visit our beaches during their stay, highlighting just how important they are to Waveney's £215.9m tourism economy.”

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