Wells beach 'does not need Blue Flag'

BEAUTIFUL Wells beach speaks for itself and does not need to hoist a prestigious Blue Flag clean beach award, it was claimed this week.While other places along the North Norfolk coast fly the Blue Flag as a symbol of their quality, locals believe Wells has a natural charm of its own and its fine stretches of sandy beach, backed by pine trees and a terrace of iconic brightly coloured beach huts, make it a popular destination with thousands of visitors year after year.

BEAUTIFUL Wells beach speaks for itself and does not need to hoist a prestigious Blue Flag clean beach award, it was claimed this week.

While other places along the North Norfolk coast fly the Blue Flag as a symbol of their quality, locals believe Wells has a natural charm of its own and its fine stretches of sandy beach, backed by pine trees and a terrace of iconic brightly coloured beach huts, make it a popular destination with thousands of visitors year after year.

Their views have come on the eve of the anticipated busy Bank Holiday weekend after Sheringham won back its Blue Flag after missing out in last year's awards. It's now back among a dozen Blue Flag beaches in East Anglia and 71 around the country.

But at Wells, the town is happy not being able to raise its flag and the reason it cannot do so is because the beach, owned by the Holkham Estate, doesn't submit itself for the honour. It would not meet the required criteria, including having qualified life guards on duty during the summer.


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Wells lifeboat coxswain, Allen Frary, a man who knows a lot about the local coastal waters, said the beach speaks for itself.

He added: “I think people appreciate the natural beauty they find at Wells, as everyone who discovers it realises, it has a beauty all of it own regardless of whether or not it has a Blue Flag.”

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“I am 55 and I have been in the sea off Wells numerous times, particularly in my younger days, and it has never done me any harm.”

Peter Rainsford, who with his wife, Maddie, runs a bed and breakfast premises at East Quay, says that Wells has always been, and continues to be, a popular destination for visitors and its fine sandy beach is one of the major attractions.

A spokesman for North Norfolk District Council said that, to be eligible for consideration for a Blue Flag, certain criteria have to be met and one of these was the presence of lifeguards which Wells beach currently does not have. “Wells beach would not qualify and does not enter for the Blue Flag,” he added.

The Holkham Estate also believes that the beach at Wells does not need a Blue Flag to indicate how good it is.

“It is a great location and people return year after year regardless of whether or not it flies a Blue Flag,” said a spokesman.

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