WALES continues to have some of the cleanest bathing water in Europe, new figures out today (Friday, November 1) reveal, with all beaches in the Cardigan area rated as either excellent or good.

The Bathing Water Quality Results 2019 show Wales has, once again, met 100 per cent bathing water quality compliance standards at all of its 105 designated bathing waters.

Following water sampling undertaken throughout the summer by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), 83 areas achieved the EU’s highest classification of ‘excellent’, up from last year’s figure of 78. A total of 17 were classified as ‘good’ and five classified as ‘sufficient’.

No areas have been classified as ‘poor’.

In the Tivyside area, 11 beaches were rated, with seven classed as excellent and four as good.

Excellent: New Quay Harbour, Cilborth, Penbryn, Llangrannog, Tresaith, Mwnt and Cardigan Poppit West.

Good: New Quay North, Traeth Gwyn New Quay, Aberporth and Newport North.

Excellent bathing water quality is one of the key criteria required for a prestigious Blue Flag award.

Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said: “We all know Wales has some of the most stunning coastline in Europe and these statistics prove we officially have some of the cleanest bathing water too.

“This is no fluke - I pay tribute to our partners including NRW, Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water and local authorities who all play a vital role in maintaining the high quality of our bathing water.”

Lord Elis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism added: “This is a fantastic achievement, a true team effort and shows how Wales is committed to safeguarding our amazing natural assets for visitors as well as for residents and communities.

“The new action plan for the Visitor Economy has sustainability at its heart, and we will continue to work with partners to deliver a first class visitor experience which also looks after our natural assets.”

There are a number of factors which can affect bathing water quality including heavy rainfall, pollution from sewage and diffuse pollution in water draining from farms and farmland

NRW carried out sampling throughout the bathing season this year between May 15 and September 30.