East Anglia: Top marks awarded to region’s beaches in Good Beach Guide 2011

TOURISM chiefs in Suffolk and Essex are hoping to make the most of the “staycation” market after the two counties’ beaches were given top marks in an industry survey.

The Good Beach Guide 2011, published by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), has given six Suffolk and eight North Essex beaches an “excellent” rating for their bathing water quality.

The Suffolk beaches include two each in Felixstowe, Southwold and Lowestoft while Essex’s excellent shores include those in Clacton, Brightlingsea, Jaywick, Dovercourt, Holland on Sea, Frinton on Sea and Walton on the Naze.

Asa Morrison, Waveney District Council’s officer for culture, tourism, sport and leisure development, said the good ratings could help the district tap in to the “staycation” market.

He said: “We are extremely proud of Waveney’s beaches and consider them the highlights of the area. Praise such as this benefits the local tourism industry and reflects the enormous effort that goes into maintaining and managing them.

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“Our beaches are a very important part of the district’s overall tourism offering and help to make Waveney the ideal place for holidaymakers to enjoy a staycation.”

Stephen Mayzes, head of leisure at Tendring Council, said he was really excited that its beaches had been recognised.

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He said: “It’s a big tick for the area and something we can say to visitors that we offer. Every part of Tendring is a place that has something on offer for everyone. I welcome this latest news which recognises our beaches.”

Frinton and Walton town mayor John Halls said beaches and water quality had improved since sewage stopped being piped into the sea in the area.

He said: “I was delighted when I heard the news, as we pride ourselves on our beaches here in Frinton - it’s what people come here for.”

Rachel Wyatt, MCS coastal pollution officer, said: “From 2015 Europe’s beaches will be classified using even stricter water quality standards.

“Instead of viewing these new standards with dread, our coastal communities and water companies should welcome them as an opportunity to attract more people to the UK’s wonderful and varied seaside resorts”.

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