Local coastline awash with awards

Several superb local beaches have gained internationally recognised awards and been ranked among the best in the UK and across the world, in Keep Wales Tidy’s Coastal Awards 2014.

This year, 34 beaches across Wales have been awarded the Blue Flag and 31 beaches successfully obtained the Green Coast Award after being judged on a national and international level.

Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources, said: “The awards demonstrate the high standard of Welsh bathing water quality and reflect the diversity of our beautiful coastline, which is enjoyed by our communities and the millions of visitors to Welsh beaches each year.”

The Award ceremony was hosted by Keep Wales Tidy at New Quay Yacht Club on Thursday, and awards were presented by Andy Middleton, of Natural Resources Wales.

Mr Middleton said: “Our fantastic coastline is an integral part of our economy, a place many of us enjoy visiting and is a haven for wildlife.

“We are delighted that the continued improvement of Wales’ beach quality is recognised by the Coastal Awards, showing that so many of our bathing waters meet the new, higher standards for cleanliness.”

These prestigious awards recognise beaches and marinas across the world for not only their high standard of water quality, but also their cleanliness, safety and excellent facilities.

Pembrokeshire topped the list, winning 10 Blue Flags, and Ceredigion gained five including Aberporth, New Quay harbor and Tresaith.

Quiet and quaint beaches in Wales were also recognised with the Green Coast Award. Winners of this award are generally the hidden gems of Wales- beaches that qualify with the highest standard of water quality but are better known for their natural, unspoiled environment.

The natural coves and seclusion of Pembrokeshire beaches have secured them 12 Green Coast Awards this year, including Cwm yr Eglwys, and Ceredigion took three including Mwnt and Penbryn.

As well as awarding beaches for their excellent qualities, the awards also encourage local community involvement, raising awareness and ensuring people are supported in caring for their local coastline.

Lesley Jones, Keep Wales Tidy Chief Executive said: “The coastline is very important for Wales as it can boost local economies and the tourism industry and allows us to showcase our beautiful country. The awards are a great way of recognising the excellent practice and work that our volunteers carry out each year to help maintain and improve the high standard of our coast. I’d like to congratulate our winners and thank everyone who’s involved in making this year’s Welsh Coast Awards a great success.”

In celebration of the coast, Keep Wales Tidy will hold the annual Clean Coast Week, sponsored by McDonalds, May 10 to 18. For more information or to get involved, visit www.keepwalestidy.org/cleancoast or call 02920 381736.

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