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Gorleston fails to win back blue flag

PUBLISHED: 09:51 07 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:50 03 July 2010

Two of East Anglia's top seaside resorts had contrasting fortunes today as the eagerly-awaited announcement on this year's Blue Flag beaches was made.

Sheringham was celebrating as it got back the coveted quality mark after missing out last year, but the well-heeled north Suffolk resort of Southwold has been stripped of its Blue Flag.

Two of East Anglia's top seaside resorts had contrasting fortunes today as the eagerly-awaited announcement on this year's Blue Flag beaches was made.

Sheringham was celebrating as it got back the coveted quality mark after missing out last year, but the well-heeled north Suffolk resort of Southwold has been stripped of its Blue Flag.

The changes mean six of the region's beaches can fly the flag. They are:

Cromer

Mundesley

Sea Palling

Sheringham

Lowestoft north of Claremont Pier

Lowestoft south of Claremont Pier.

The announcement by Keep Britain Tidy means Gorleston has failed to get back the Blue Flag that is lost last year.

Overall, the number of Blue Flags on English beaches has fallen from 85 in 2007 to 82 last year and 71 this year, largely because of flooding over the past two years.

Despite the drop, Keep Britain Tidy said the number to get the award for clean water, litter-free shores, good facilities and safety was a huge increase on 2002, when just 45 made the grade.

The organisation urged people in England to “make the most of their own magnificent coastline” as a stress-free, recession-beating holiday option.

The fall was largely due to the impacts of heavy rain and flooding in the past couple of years, which washes pollutants into the sea and affects water quality.

Keep Britain Tidy said the number of Quality Coast Awards (QCAs) given to the best managed beaches which may not reach Blue Flag standards for water quality had increased on last year.

This year, 113 beaches were given the QCA award, a rise of 31 on the 2008 figures.

Phil Barton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “Holidaying in this country is the perfect way of saving money and having a great time.

“Whether it's a question of variety, accessibility or value for money, enjoying our wonderful beaches is the ideal way to recharge your batteries.”


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