Poll: Beaches in Suffolk and Essex bucking national trend when it comes to water quality

Southwold beach

Southwold beach - Credit: citizenside.com

BEACHES in Suffolk and Essex appear to be bucking the national trend when it comes to the quality of their bathing water.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has expressed concern that one of the UK’s wettest summers on record had led to a worrying drop in the number of shorelines being recommended.

But its latest “Good Beach Guide”, which is released today, finds the majority of those in Suffolk and Essex have either stayed the same or improved when compared to last year’s survey.

Beaches at Felixstowe and Lowestoft have achieved all the MCS standards and maintain their “recommended” status from 2012, which is the highest rating and means the water quality is excellent.

The beach at The Pier in Southwold has improved from “mandatory” to “recommended”, while The Denes at Southwold has maintained its “mandatory” rating from last year, which means minimum standards are being met.

In Essex beaches at Frinton, Walton, Clacton, Dovercourt and West Mersea all maintained “recommended” status.

However those at Holland, Jaywick and the martello tower at Clacton dropped from “recommended” to “mandatory”. The beach at Clacton (groyne 41) maintained its “mandatory” rating, while Brightlingsea dropped from “recommended” to “guideline”, which means water quality is of a high standard.

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The Good Beach Guide uses data collected by environment agencies and local authorities during the previous summer.

MCS has recommended only 403 of the 754 UK bathing beaches tested in 2012 as having excellent water quality - just over half and 113 fewer than last year. Officials say relentless rain and flooding in many parts of the country led to an increase in the amount of bacteria and viruses ending up in bathing waters.

Rachel Wyatt, MCS coastal pollution officer, said: “The north west and south west were hit particularly hard.

“There is no simple solution. However if the water industry, communities and local authorities recognise there is a problem and begin to work together then that would be a significant start.”

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