Wales

Wales beaches praised in Keep Wales Tidy Blue Flag awards

Whitmore Bay, Barry Island Image copyright Jaggery/Geograph
Image caption Barry Island's Whitmore Bay, which featured in the sitcom Gavin and Stacey, was praised

Welsh beaches, marinas and a boat operator have been ranked among the best in the world as part of the 30th Blue Flag coast awards.

Keep Wales Tidy has awarded 47 Blue Flags across the country, meaning Wales has more per mile than anywhere else in the UK.

Among those to receive one was Carmarthenshire's Cefn Sidan beach which was the first to get one in 1988.

Facilities and water quality were also praised.

Image copyright Hywel Williams/Geograph
Image caption Carmarthenshire's Cefn Sidan beach received the first Blue Flag award in 1998
Image copyright Eric Jones/Geograph
Image caption Abersoch on Llyn Peninsula is renowned for it water sports facilities

Barry Island's Whitmore Bay in Vale of Glamorgan, New Quay beach in Ceredigion, Abersoch beach in Gwynedd and Prestatyn beach in Denbighshire, were also among the Blue Flag winners.

A further 19 beaches gained a Green Coast Award which recognises the "hidden gems" of Wales' coastline, while 83 beaches got a Seaside Award for good water quality and facilities.

Pembrokeshire was the biggest winner with 56 coast awards, including 11 Blue Flags, 14 Green Coast Awards and 31 Seaside Awards.

Environment minister Hannah Blythyn said: "We're lucky in Wales to have some of the world's finest beaches right here on our doorstep.

"It's fantastic to see so many of our beaches receiving these awards, which is testament to the work being done by our partners and communities across Wales to keep our beaches and waters clean."

Keep Wales Tidy chief executive Lesley Jones said the awards attracted tourism which supported the economy and gave communities a sense of pride.

Image copyright John Lucas/Geograph
Image caption New Quay harbour is located on the waters of Cardigan Bay

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