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Last Updated: Friday, 29 April, 2005, 07:32 GMT 08:32 UK
Beaches scoop seaside flag awards
Felixstowe beachfront
Ten beaches in Suffolk won the yellow and blue flag
The eastern region now has 29 beaches which have won a prestigious award that puts them amongst the best in England.

The beaches - 11 in Suffolk, eight in Norfolk and 10 in Essex - had to pass strict checks for cleanliness, public facilities and water quality.

Encams, the charity that runs the Seaside Awards, said some beaches needed 400 hours of cleaning a week to maintain the necessary standards.

Winning the award means the beaches can fly the coveted yellow and blue flag.

Southend Chalkwell and Southend Jubilee beaches in Essex are first time winners of the award, as well as Heacham strand in Norfolk.

Nigel Tansley-Thomas, Encams regional director, said: "Beach managers have realised that the way to draw the crowds and keep the visitors happy is to clean the beach thoroughly and frequently, ensure bins are not overflowing and of course, provide clean toilets."

Encams is a national charity which works to improve local environments.

It organises the Seaside Awards and runs the Keep Britain Tidy campaign.

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