A north Norfolk beach is on course to getting its Blue Flag status back after receiving an upgrade in water quality.

East Runton was one of three north Norfolk beaches to lose their Blue Flags earlier this year.

But after recent testing, the water quality at East Runton beach is ‘excellent’ again - the Environment Agency rating required for Blue Flag status.

It means four north Norfolk beaches now have the top rating, with a further three rated as ‘good’.

“As soon as I heard the news that we would be losing some of our Blue Flags I promised that I would campaign to see them returned,” Duncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk, said - speaking about the Blue Flag losses at East Runton, Sea Palling and Mundesley.

North Norfolk News: North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker at East Runton beachNorth Norfolk MP Duncan Baker at East Runton beach (Image: Duncan Baker)

“This has led to very interesting developments, with the Environment Agency confirming that last year’s losses were almost certainly caused by bacteria from natural causes such as animal waste, rather than sewage.  

“The improvement in rating is very welcome indeed – I hope we can quickly get our Blue Flag back on East Runton beach.”

READ MORE: Sewage not the cause of Norfolk losing Blue Flag beaches, agency says

The Environment Agency recently said water companies and sewage spills were not to blame for Norfolk’s Blue Flag losses.

Instead, the government authority said the most likely causes of contamination were bacteria from animals and birds, and high tides and bad weather stirring up bacteria from the seabed.

However, there were more than 300,000 combined sewage overflows into waterways across the UK last year – an average of 824 a day - which North Norfolk District Council has always said contributed to the Blue Flag losses. 

READ MORE: Surfer forced to move board with sewage protest message at East Runton beach

Earlier this year, water companies pledged £10bn to improve the water system by transforming 350,000 miles of sewer – a length that would stretch 14 times around the world.

There will also be a new National Overflows Plan, which promises greater transparency from water companies to allow them to be held to account for future overflows.