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49 Welsh locations crowned among best beaches and marinas in the world

KEEP WALES TIDY has today announced the Wales Coast Award winners for 2024, spotlighting the 49 coastal sites achieving the high standards required to receive a prestigious Blue Flag, Green Coast or Seaside Award.

With more and more local authorities and organisations facing pressure on reduced budgets, it is heartening to see so many continue to prioritise the delivery of the exceptional standards required to achieve these awards in the stunning coastal areas which surround our beautiful country.

Blue Flag is managed internationally by FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education) and is one of the world’s most recognised awards for beaches, marinas and boats. The programme’s mission is to promote environmental education, sustainable development of tourism, environmental management systems and ensure safety and access for beach users.

The 24 Welsh beaches achieving this accolade must adhere to specific criteria related not only to water quality, but also information provision, environmental education, safety, and site management in equal measure.

Alongside the 24 Blue Flag awards, 13 beaches in Wales were awarded the Green Coast Award which recognises their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty. Green Coast Awards are ‘hidden gems’ along the Welsh coastline, exceptional places to visit and enjoy diversity and rich coastal heritage.

In addition, a total of 12 beaches, including Aberporth and Rhyl Central, also achieved the Seaside Award for the standard of their facilities and water quality.

This continued recognition of our stunning Welsh coastline is due once again to the huge effort of staff and volunteers at sites across Wales, and a shared drive to protect and preserve our natural landscape in the face of increasingly challenging circumstances.

Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs, Huw Irranca-Davies, said: “Wales boasts some of Europe’s finest beaches and water quality, and the global recognition of our coastline is a true reflection of the dedication and hard work of so many people, today we celebrate the announcement of 49 winners for the Wales Coast Awards 2024.

“With 24 Blue Flag awards, 13 Green Coast Awards, and 12 Seaside Awards, I commend the dedication to preserving our pristine coastal environments.

“As we celebrate in this achievement, let us also heed the call to protect and preserve our coastal treasures. Let’s ensure that we leave nothing but footprints, allowing these breathtaking spaces to be enjoyed for many generations to come.”

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Owen Derbyshire, Keep Wales Tidy Chief Executive said: “We’re delighted to see another successful year of Coast Awards here in Wales, with 49 stunning locations recognised among the world’s best.

“Achieving these prestigious awards means meeting rigorous standards put in place to ensure the safe enjoyment of visitors now and in years to come. This success is testament to the hard work of all involved in maintaining and enhancing the natural beauty of our Welsh coastline.”

A full list of awards can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website here