FOUR beaches in the Cardigan area have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag award.

Keep Wales Tidy today unveiled the coastal areas that have met the high standards needed to receive the prestigious Blue Flag, Green Coast Award and Seaside Award – a total of 102 awards for Wales.

Across the country, 44 Blue Flags are flying – with Poppit Sands, New Quay Harbour, Llangrannog and Tresaith among them - meaning that Wales once again has more Blue Flags per mile than anywhere else in the UK.

The iconic Blue Flag is a world-renowned eco-label owned by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). For more than three decades, Blue Flag has had a transformational impact on water quality, environmental awareness, protection, safety and services.

A further 18 beaches in Wales have gained the Green Coast Award, highlighting the ‘hidden gems’ along the coastline. Among those receiving that accolade is Mwnt.

The award recognises the excellent water quality and unspoiled environment, but unlike a Blue Flag Award beach, these sites won’t have the infrastructure and intensive management generally associated with more traditional seaside resorts.

A further 40 beaches have achieved the Seaside Award for their standard of water quality and facilities, including New Quay Harbour and Dolau beaches, Llangrannog, Tresaith, Aberporth, Penbryn, Mwnt, Cwm yr Eglwys and Newport Sands.

The Seaside Award is the nationwide standard for the best beaches across the UK. While Seaside Award beaches can be vastly different, the flag is a symbol of quality which ensures visitors are guaranteed a clean, attractive and well managed coastal stretch.

Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said: “We’re lucky in Wales to have some of the world’s finest beaches right here on our doorstep. It’s pleasing to see so many of our beaches receiving these awards as recognition of the hard work being done across Wales to keep our beaches and waters clean.

“The Blue Flag is a prestigious mark of quality showing how seriously we take environmental and water quality standards in Wales.”

Lesley Jones, Keep Wales Tidy chief executive, said: “The awards are a testament to the hard work of staff and volunteers who help care for our beautiful coastline and keep our waters clean throughout the year.

“The Wales Coast Awards play a vital role in protecting our precious marine environment and attracting visitors from around the world. We should all take great pride in the quality of our beaches and coastal areas.

Blue Flag

Poppit Sands (Pembrokeshire)

New Quay Harbour, Llangrannog and Tresaith (all Ceredigion)

Green Coast

Mwnt (Ceredigion)

Seaside Award

New Quay Harbour and Dolau beaches, Llangrannog, Tresaith, Aberporth, Penbryn and Mwnt (all Ceredigion)

Cwm yr Eglwys, Newport Sands (both Pembrokeshire).